Friday, November 30, 2018

Uber Taxi

Catherine and I were late leaving for deep water exercise this morning, so Catherine ordered an Uber taxi which I knew nothing about.

 Very sweet.

 She called for an Uber taxi, she watched her phone to see how many minutes he was away from picking us up, she paid with her Visa at the destinatioin, even the tip, and told him that she had given him a 5-star rating for his service.

 That made him laugh for he had just been quiet while we talked as fast as is humanly possible to each other.

 After the swim we walked home, which wasn’t far – ½ an hour or in our new language, 3,000 steps.  Even with so few steps home, Catherine figures with how hard we worked in the water we were well over our targetted exercise points.

I am still not a good deep water exerciser. When holding onto a flutter board and kicking my feet, the slowly sink to the bottom and I make no progress forward.

 I can only assume that my centre of gravity is a long way off from the days when I could actually make myself go forward.


A Star is Born

Zoe and Rebecca
... on a date with Grandmother ...
Zoe, Rebecca Jarvis and I went to see A Star is Born tonight, via the underground Metro.

I stopped to buy a senior’s pass -- $51 for the month of December, but I needed just a return ticket for tonight as well.

The senior citizen behind me in the line-up argued with the ticket teller – "No, she doesn’t need to pay for today. She just needs to tap."

  I looked the ticket teller in the eye, could see he didn't agree, and told him since he was in charge, I would pay.

The old man behind me was calling out, "You are paying $4 that you don’t need to pay.

I tried not to give him eye contact.

He was still arguing with the ticket teller long after I had gone through the turn-style, around the corner and was headed down the escalator.  Just getting away was worth the $4 to me.

Zoe and Rebecca were not sure how to find the movie theatre.

Barbie Doll: Zoe Rabinovitch Edition
We went left, then right, then on the inside of a mall, then outside to the street.

They paused to look up the theatre on their iphones which didn't help at all.

I didn’t care if we ever made it to the theatre, since suddenly the process of getting there was much more interesting than I thought the movie would be.

Zoe pointed out the boots of two women walking ahead of me. Each had on one of the other’s boots.

Apparently they had purchased similar styles, at least heights and stacked heels, and then each had given the other a shoe to make a pair.

Zoe and Rebecca were laughing, with Rebecca saying that it was very hard for her not to comment on their attire.

I told her that I would tell the women we loved their boots, at the same time asking them if they new the way to the theatre.

Luckily the light changed before I could get my plan in effect.

Barbie Doll: Rebecca Rose Jarvis Edition
I told the girls that I was giving them homework.  They are to come downtown every day until they can find their way around down here.  I was doing better at it than they were.

Catherine and Catie Jarvis went to A Star Is Born a couple of nights ago.

Catherine, who was a hard-sell for Catie to get to the movie, came home raving about the movie.

So when we finally found the theatre, I settled into my chair for what I knew would be a good show, leaving one seat between me and the girls.

I like that extra space for my coat, purse, a scarf for my lap or shoulders if there is a draft, chocolate bars and for my beverage.

I think there were only about 15 of us in the theatre so there was plenty of space for everyone to have such a space beside them.

Zoe and Rebecca asked me to come to the Green Bagel on the way home for supper.
Barbie Doll: Arta Johnson, 1940 Edition

I was on tap to watch Hebe while Eric and Catherine went out tonight, so I left them at the Metro and travelled home on my own.

Oh, but not before showing them to the Barbie Expo Show which is just at the Peel Metro stop, but up the winding staircase.

This time I saw people taking pictures in what looks like a large Barbie doll box.

So we all took turns going into the pink box and posing, as though we were now a Barbie package.

What is not to like about that show, even if one doesn’t like Barbies?


Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Snake

Today was my first day of getting my exercise above ground.

Well, that sounds a little weird given one of my next trips will be underground permanently.  But here I am in Montreal.  Amd I love the underground malls that are connected to one another -- so many that I often go to the mall directional map, just to see where I am, since I seem to go forever without seeing the same store.

Many of the same shops can be accessed from the outisde sidewalks of Montreal.

Each day I get more secure at finding my way around.  

In fact tonight I knew if I should go left or right at the underground a couple of days ago which means I am getting better at recognizing the signs that are important and letting the rest of the writing fade to the background.

The air was perfect today -- no wind.  And the sidewalks had no snow or black ice on them.
I am so interested in the street art that is everywhere.

This snake was so inviting -- I thought its design was a nod to Gaudi's Barcelona park bench.

Had I been tired it would have been my preferred spot for a rest.


Mary Comes to Montreal

The best part about having Mary in Montreal is that she came to sleep at the bed and breakfast near Catherine's house.

I moved in with Mary.

Not that we had any time together.

Put us in a room and what we really want to do is get a good night's sleep.

So we did.  No staying up late talking or going on the internet.  Just a few texts to the loved ones not with us and we were out.

On the third day of her visit, I went down to the conference on the metro with her.  She mocked me, saying that there was probably a 10% chance I would just come in with her to the conference and take notes.  She was right, there was a small chance that I would want to join in, even on a truck transportation conference.

Today's pleasure for me included looking at the Christmas decorations that were  put up over night. Probably planned for months and then suddenly, one night and they are up.

 I took a picture of my own image on of the gigantic Christmas balls on the tree in the rotunda of Mary's hotel.  Just a magnificent look -- probably the highlight of the walk I took on the streets today.

10,000 steps at an hour or so along Sherbrooke in Montreal -- that works for me.


A Bag I Don't Need

Le Cours Montreal
I told Mary that I saw a bag I am dying to get.

I am conflicted, for I am trying to cut back as a consumer -- believing now that I don't really need any more bags.

She told me to take a picture of it.  And to really hold it, look it over, discover all of its possibilities and then put it back on the shelf. 

I did check out the outside pockets that run on one side of the bag and on its twi ends. The back side of the bag is a bigger tapestry of the top of the bag -- a lovely scene of Canada.

And the pockets just run with the words Canada and I love Canada.  The bag is $29.99.  I have visited the shop twice now.  I can find the kiosk just off of the food court at Le Cours, Montreal when coming off the metro at the Peel Station.  The bag comes in this grey colour, black and also red.

I haven't photographed it artfully.

Still a great bag and I am sure Wyona would tell me to cut back somewhere else -- but to buy this bag.


King and I (and Arta and Hebe and Catherine)

Credit: Matthew Murphy
Musical Theatre: King and I
Lincoln Centre's production of The King and I made it to the London Paladium, from where the last performance was taped and seen by us tonight.

Hebe was the star of the night, being probably 40 (and maybe 50) years younger than any one else in the theatre.

Besides that, this is the first movie she has been able to see from start to finish without having to leave.

And her second greatest fear of meeting someone on the subway that she knows happened tonight.

The teacher of the class of kids in wheel chairs was on the bus.  Dana jumped up and came over to talk to Hebe who was holding onto the centre pole on the leg of the trip from Lionel Groulx to Villa Maria:  that run of track when the train speed up, goes up and down hills, around corners and when there is jostling around the pole, even when no other bodies are present around it.

Hebe's smile couldn't have been warmer at being recognized and then getting into conversation.

As well, if Hebe could ask or answer 10 questions there was a cash reward.

The questions, in this case, have to be asked and answered by the person giving out the money.  But if there is a look of recognition that the answer is right, Hebe gets the points.

We heard beautiful voices, saw wonderful costumes and dancing, and I tried to remember why colonial attitudes once seemed normal to me.

Catherine asked me if I keep up my gruelling social schedule when I am back in Calgary. I have been going out every night or during the day.  I had to tell her yes. I keep it up at home. The only series I don't go to is anime.  I haven't developed a taste for that.


Monday, November 26, 2018

Naomi in Aladdin II

Jafar is the genii's new master.
She is about to wish to be a genii herself, thinking it will make her the most powerful.
She doesn't realize she will become a slave.
From Mary Johnson:

I showed Naomi the photos I had taken from her first 2 shows.

She said I wasn’t allowed to post any of them.

I asked, what about Grandma’s blog?

Can we post some there?

She said sure, for no one reads Grandma’s blog.

A happy ending:  Jasmine and Aladdin are about to be married.
Aladdin uses his last wish to free the genii.
Naomi got the part of the genii in Aladdin in her school production of Aladdin Jr., the Musical.

It is her first time being in a theatre production.

She refused to get help practising her lines, but Arta and I did manage to convince her to run through them once with us.

Even though she didn’t put her full effort into the lines for us, she was the star of the show when it came to the actual performance.

She had great timing delivering her lines.

Fantastic body language.
Second show make-up by drama teacher.

And was a strong singer. I made her costume by altering an outfit Leo had purchased for me in Africa 13 years ago.

It no longer fit me.

We turned the skirt into harem pants and one Naomi’s lines that got a great laugh was “Do this harem pants make me look fat?”

Naomi doesn’t usually wear make-up, but she has a friend who is very good and is self-taught by Internet videos.

Lexie did Naomi’s make-up the first night.

One of the theatre teachers did it on Friday. And Saturday, one of my friends who is a professional make-up artist did her make-up.

So three different looks, each one fabulous.

I will have to post the final night photos another day.

Finale: entire cast sings "A Whole New World, Reprise"
Sunday, once all of the performances were done, Naomi still wanted to put on her blue eye make-up.

She said she wasn’t quite ready to be done being the genii yet.

The drama teacher was happy that Leo volunteered to coach the kids on the soundboard.

Finale: same as above
As a result, this was the first show I have been to at the school where the mikes were actually working.

The drama teacher also works with a summer theatre camp who have put on a production of Aladdin before, as well as Joseph and the Technicolour Coat.

She was able to borrow the costumes of that theatre troupe, so all of the costumes were fantastic.

She was surprised when Naomi said we had made Naomi’s costume but everyone thought it was perfect when they saw it.

The genii with her wireless mike
I think the set was also borrowed and touched up by the drama teacher.

Leo went in one Saturday to help her assemble it and do final touches.

I was in the front row every night.

Naomi told me that I didn’t have to come every night.

I told her I wanted to.

She told me, you are little too loud.
Naomi after the show channeling herself you are a little loud.
I reminded her of how loud grandmother's laughter would have been if she had been there.

One of my friends from work brought her daughter on Friday night.

Saturday it was all she could talk about so they came again Saturday night.

The tickets were the right price.


After each show most of the kids changed right out of their costumes and went right home.

Naomi stayed in her costume and talked to people in the halls.

We were always the last to leave.
First show make-up and hair by Lexie

I can’t say enough about Naomi’s performance.

She was a natural and often carried the entire chorus through songs.

If she messed up a line in a song everyone went with her.

In the spring she and her cousin, Rebecca, had watched Aladdin.

Then Naomi listened to the sound track all summer.

So we were quite surprised when that was the production her school was doing.

Make-up by Lexie
As she was preparing for her audition, I kept asking her if she had prepared something and if she wanted help.

The night before the audition she told me she was going to her room to practise, and that under no circumstances was I allowed to stand outside her door and listen.

When I told this to her cousin, Rebecca, she laughed really hard and told me she would have done the same thing.
More make-up by Lexie

Flowers from Grandma
I didn’t know how the audition went, but I knew that anyone who auditioned would at least get a part in the chorus.

I was thrilled when Naomi texted me that she had gotten the part of the genii.

Being in this production seems to have solidified her confidence in herself. I hope she will continue with theatre.

Genii with Ella who came to two shows

Online Sunday School Lesson 48

Noteworthy Indigenous Art and Culture Part II - Lesson 48

 I have been wondering if reading the blog has been pushing me to explore indigenous thought in different ways. On thinking about this week’s posts there have been many interesting places on the Internet that the bog has taken me.

Monday, the Indigenous artist celebrated was Sister Ray. I read the interview that was published with great interest. She says that music can help us celebrate sorrow as well as power. I went to the Internet to hear some of her work on you tube.

“The Daddies.”
Acrylic on canvas 60” x 112.5” (2016). I
mage retrieved from:
Tuesday, Kent Monkman was the Indigenous artist celebrated by the blog.

I saw a large body of his work in a large exhibition at the National Gallery, both paintings and installations a few years ago.

The first installation I saw was a tepee. (I am pretty sure I saw that at work in Montreal.)

The most memorable video I have seen was a nurse.

He played the main character – the nurse.

Wednesday Aaron Paquette as a local politician and representative for Ward 4 on Edmonton’s City Council was brought to my attention. He is as also a community based Indigenous artist.

Thursday, totem poles were studied as pieces that are among the most easily recognizable cultural symbols of the Pacific Northwest.

Friday was a celebration of the appointment of Honourable Judge Cheryl Arcand-Kootenay who became the first Treaty 6 woman to be appointed to the Provincial Court of Alberta on November 6, 2018.

And that is it for a another good week on the Faculty of Law, University of Alberta, Faculty Blog.

I hope you found as much enjoyment at following along this week, as I did.


Saturday, November 24, 2018

The Grandmother Trope

There is a family trope which I might have to listen to and change. 


Not a family trope. 

A grandmother trope. 

There is a certain laughter that comes from me that frightens people, I would say.  Or makes them wary.  For sure they go on some kind of alert.

What happens is, I give a laugh, a good belly laugh, and then grandchildren who are around me are alerted that something has gone wrong somewhere and that I am laughing at it.  Not wanting to be the grandchild who initiated the laugh, they ask, "What are you laughing at, Grandmother", but their tone is not questioning, but combatative.

I wouldn't have been able to articulate this, but I have been the object of this question (What are you laughing at, Grandmother?) as I have been visiting in Aylmer (from Rhiannon) and now in Montreal (from Hebe). 

Ha ha. 

If laughter keeps people alive, I am going to have many good years ahead of me.


Friday, November 23, 2018

Ancora Ensemble Presenting "Wintersongs"


Friday, November 23 at Vernon Peace Lutheran Church 
and on Saturday, November 24 at Salmon Arm First United Church.
Take a closer look to find 3 of our very own

Orange Rolls

Recipe Book from the Edmonton Relief Society
I asked everyone in the family for ideas about what I could do that they really want.

I am getting suggestions for cinnamon buns but those didn't really work out last night.

No one remembered to take the pan out of the oven until it was two hours too late.

Will I get them done?  Maybe.  All I am missing right now is one large orange to flavour the sugar that will be in the middle.  Oh yum to these.  An excellent choice from Eric, if I am making what it is that he remembers.


1 cup milk (scalded)
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp. salt
5 tbsp. Crisco
2 eggs (beaten)
1 yeast cake
3-4 cups flour

While the milk is hot, add 4 tbsp sugar, salt and Crisco and leet cool.  When luke-warm, add 2 beaten eggs and yeast cake dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water.  Add flour and leet rise 1 1/2 hours.  Roll out as for cinnamon rolls and spread with a paste made of 1 cup sugar, 6 tbsp. butter and grated rind of one orange.  Cut in slices and put in muffin tins and let rise 1 1/2 hours.  Bake at 375, 15 to 20 minutes.

*Reprint from the 1953 Cook Book


The Green Book – Review

Selfie by Catie
Text by Arta

I think that the subway driver is going
100 miles an hour between stations.
That couldn't possibly be true,
but I can feel the tilt of the train as we go around
corners, then down and uphill.
I love the minutes after a movie, the ones where Catie and I spend time trying to construct questions to send to Aunt Rebecca, whom we think is the only person, faintly, who might see the show.

 Here are the questions we asked and answered as we came home on the Metro together.

 1. What significance was there in the title, Green Book?

2. Film enthusiasts know to watch the first two minutes of a film, or the opening shots of a film intently, because a lot of information about the plot is conveyed there. What comes to mind when we think back to those moments.

3. Comment on the changes that happened to Dr. Shirley? Tony Lip (Vallelonga)?

4. What props or social customs let us know we are in the 1960’s.

5. An essay could be written on the number of times that car is stopped during this road trip and for what reasons. Name some of the stops that you enjoyed.

6. Did you foresee the incident at the YMCA? If not, on reflection, what might have alerted you that this might have happened.

7. What events helped us to understand the racism of the 1960’s.

8. What similarities and differences are there between Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody.

 And thus endeth another night at the movies.

 Oh yes, a large bag of popcorn, is close to $10 at the movies. For fifty cents less you can get a small bag. Two can of pop can easily fit in my purse, so we always have good drinks as well.


Aladdin II - with Naomi as Genie

Naomi Brooks

Pose taken during costume fitting.
Yes, plenty of room in this costume 
to get around the stage.
I called the Brooks house to find out how Naomi's performance as the genie went in her school's production of Aladdin II.  Mary said:

The evening was fabulous.
It was actually their dress rehearsal, since the night of the dress rehearsal, someone fell and dislocated their knee.  An ambulance had to be called.  The cast only made it half way through the dress rehearsal. 
So, on to Thursday night?  Their dress rehearsal and first performance all wrapped up in one.  The rehearsal event gives the saying "break a leg" new meaning to the cast.
Ten of Naomi's friends from church came to the performance.
Mary also said that it was a blessing I wasn't there.  People did titter and laugh, but she is sure that I would have had a hearty laugh at every joke, which is good for my soul, but sometimes embarrassing for those who know me and sit beside me.

More about the performances tomorrow.


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Ottawa to Montreal

Mary explained to me that the mist was a regular occurrence in the Ottawa Valley, a mist that I don’t see in Alberta very much.

I was on my way to the train station, a little early to board, but determined to use the time walking before getting on the train.

I took a ride to the train in a shuttle since it was a long way to car #3.

I moved over to the side window and decided to keep my eye on the scenery for the whole two hours.

I am always wishing that I could take the train through the Rogers Pass.

Looking the the window as we wind our way through the Ottawa Valley seemed like a close second.

I have to say that once the engine of the train started and the methodic rhythm rocking me back and forth took over, I wasn’t much good at looking out the window.

My eyes were closed for more of the trip than they were opened.

So here I am, in Montreal and pretty excited since Catie has offered to go to movies whenever she is not working.

I sat down today and look for all of the movies I want to see, ones that have to begin after 9 pm for she doesn’t get home until then.

All I can see that are playing Can You Forgive Me, Green Book, and a Star is Born.

I wanted to see The Wife and Collette but they aren’t showing as being played in any theatres.

Beautiful, just beautiful this early taste of winter.
Maybe Catie and I will have to default to some Netflicks at home.

Not a bad idea since I doubt that she has had the same practise at binge watching as I have had.


Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) directed by Bryan Singer

Promotional post for movie
Catie and I hopped on the metro to go to Bohemian Rhapsody.

When the show was over we tried to construct 10 questions for Aunt Rebecca Johnson, since she is good at giving them to other people.

We have the disadvantage.

Neither of us are Queen fans. 

At least not until last night.

We know Rebecca grew up in that era, so we are afraid she can answer these questions without even seeing the movie.

In no particular order, here are the questions.

Off the Top of Our Heads

1. Name 10 Queen songs.
2. Name all of the members of the band and what they were studying at school.
3. Name the woman who first believed in him and became his dresser, or at least helped him pick out outfits.  Also name the actor who plays this part.

The Rest of the Questions Deal with the Movie

4. Name the actor who plays Freddie Mercury
5. Name the actors who play the 2 members of the band original band.
6. Tell us about 3 great cinematic moments in the movie.
7. What is your favourite line in the movie?
8. Name the man who let the band go in a fight over producing Bohemian Rhapsody, the six minutes song.
9. Name any of the opera(s) that plays in the background of this sound track.
10. Name the man who is Mary’s partner at the end of the movie and the man who is the partner of Freddie Mercury.
11. For a bonus point, name Freddie Mercury’s orignal name.
12. We also shared with each other our favourite costumes of Freddie Mecury

Your reward for taking part in this quiz is that we will point you to a utube of "Somebody to Love" by clicking here.  (Be prepared to give up 5:08 of your life, since just listening to the first few seconds is addictive.)

Want to give us any questions back?

Arta and Catie

Some of the Answers for the Faint of Heart
1. For each person these 10 songs will be different.
2. Brian May and Roger Taylor (astrophysics and dentistry) and John Deacon (bass guitar) engineering
3. Mary Austin played by Lucy Boynton
4. Rami Malek
5. Gwilym Lee, Ben Hard
6. Catie loved the close-ups.  I liked the special effects (ie when the camera comes toward the bus and then goes right through the bus window and continues down the isle of the bus to its back seats)
9. Turandot (and I thought I heard a little Madame Butterfly early in the film)
10. Brian and Mr. Hall
11. Farrokh "Freddie" Bulsara,
12. For Catie this was the black and white checked outfit.  For me it was the costume with the crown though that first cape collar that looked like a butterfly was astonishing.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Online Sunday School -- Week 47 of 2018 - Noteworthy Indigenous Art and Culture Part I

I went back to look at the blog posts from the Reconciliaction team this week – this time they were highlighting Indigenous art or artists. Seeing that I know practically nothing, I felt pretty good about my first venture into thinking about this subject. At least I was taking one baby step. This is not to say that I haven’t heard of Tanya Tagaq, for I have. But as to the other artists this week, I have say I was drawing complete blanks.

Thanks Reconciliation blog for waking me up to the following:

1. Tanya Tagaq: A Bold Mix of Tradition and Innovation

2. YEG Indigenous Art Park

3. Indigenous Space at the Royal Alberta Museum

4. Jeremy Dutcher, Indigenous Language, and Indigenous Excellence

5. Album Review: Native North America (Vol. 1)

Sunday, November 18, 2018

A Double Feature Day

... I ate the soup for breakfast ...
 ... I ate the soup for supper ...
Thank you, Mary!
Mary began planning the curried pumpkin soup meal by taking cooked pumpkin out of her freezer a few days ago.

It took us a long time to add the other ingredients, the rest of which were put in the pot today.  In fact it was done in a rush this morning, both Mary and me intent on other tasks, but each adding to the mixture.

When I sat down, oh yum to this -- perhaps because of the curry.  As Mary said, "If a person can't find curry in their house,  can they find all of the spices to make curry?  I can tell you I did."

She says she may not be able to replicate her curry mix.

That will be too bad for the soup was memorable.

The high point of the day was going to the cinema twice.

Mary, Naomi and I saw Alan Bennett's Allelujah!

Me for the second time.

Forty-five minutes after that ended, Funny Girl starring Sheridan Smith was playing.  Christine and Jacob Cusack joined us, as did Leo.  Again, I was seeing it for the second time.

Thank  you Wyona for teaching me that once is not enough.


The Whirlwind of Sunday Morning

... shoes without the genii costume ...
Getting the Brooks family to church is a whirlwind.

Easier for me when I was raising kids, for the Johnsons didn't have to get into a car.  We lived right across the street from the church.  Well, across the street and around one corner.

Here, there is breakfast everywhere (in the kitchen, in the dining room), Xavier getting ready for work, and Rhiannon putting the last touches on her birthday card.  She is trying to eat and do the birthday card and wake up -- all at the same time.

For her eating is hard work.  The waffle is toasted and there is a nice warm peanut-butter / honey dip beside her, melted and in a 1/8th cup decorative bowl, which I think will help her appetite, but probably which is not true.

This morning she tried out Naomi's shoes.  I heard Leo saying to her, "Not a good idea."  I thought the same thing to myself when I heard how wobbly each step sounded. In fact when I heard the footsteps I thought, this is what makes an orthopaedic practise lucrative.

Naomi is wearing the shoes to church.  I told her this is why Mormon's don't let women pass the sacrament.  "Don't reinforce gender roles," her mother said to me.

"No. This is not about that.  I maintain those shoes would be too distracting."

I am busy since it is time to put in cinnamon buns.  Mary is making everyone's exit a little smoother.

Leo has tried to warm up the car.  It doesn't start, so it has to be pushed out a bit so that some jumper cables can come to the rescue.

A good thing church is still 3 hours.  The family is going to get there before church lets out.


Saturday, November 17, 2018

Drafting a Genii Costume

Mary at the sewing machine.
Naomi’s school is producing Aladdin Junior. 

Naomi has the part of the genii.

I don’t know much about the show; only enough to know that the genii has the potential to steal the show.

Naomi has been working on her lines for a few weeks – enough that the lines are under her belt now.

 ... this is the second life for this shoe ..... 
 And they are good lines.

 When she delivers them I laugh.

Rhiannon doesn’t like me to laugh.

I think my costume is fabulous
 “Not that funny, Grandmother.”

 I don’t know how may times I have heard her say that.

Mary asked about costuming for the play. 

Naomi said she didn’t know who was doing the costumes.

 Mary went downstairs and brought up some turquoise and yellow embroidered material, with a hint of eyelet.

 “I will just make this costume and send it to school.

 If your teacher likes it, OK. And if she has something else in mind, no harm done.”

 The sewing machine has been on the table for a couple of days now.

The bodice was done first.

Then there was a lot of internet research on genii pants before they were drafted. Today there was a trip to Fabricland for Velcro and some elastic.
... are these cuffs really going to work? ...

At some point the genii has to rip off her golden (hand) cuffs so Mary has been figuring out a large gold detachable cuff tonight.

 Looking good.

 Leo took Naomi to Value Village.

 They came home with high heels that will work.


 Maybe they will only work for a photo shoot.

 I told Naomi a pair of heels like that would give a woman reason to go to church, just to wear them.

 Mary spent the rest of the evening cautioning Naomi about walking in them.

... enough room in these pants for me to really move? ...
 Naomi took to the shoes like a duck to water: she danced, she prance, she modeled, she laughed. 

Her first platform heels, but she has decided not to wear them for the play.

She is practising in a low, blue leather slipper, but I think those high heeled shoes will come out again.

A woman needs a little practise in them before going out in public.


The best part of the opera

Rebecca asked me the best part of the opera, Samson and Dalila (Saint Saens). I had to say taking Rhiannon with us was my favorite part.

 She is 10.

Her mom was probably the person in the theatre closest to her age. The rest of the patrons had canes or walked very slowly. It was easy to beat everyone to the bathroom at the break

When they were going full speed there was still lots of room to pass them.

Photo Credit: Met in HD Live website
This is the first event for Rhiannon where she got paid $1 for every question she could answer after the opera was over. In fact, that was the major reason she came.  "Make a little money."

Some of the questions were hard. For example, say the names of the two protagonists, in French. She was also watching for architectural features of the Met (the lights that came about because ink splashed on the original plans), and we wanted her to hear the maestro called to the pit. Mary and I were just laughing, for she also hear the conductor interviewed. We are not sure if she knows it was the same man.

She got the new pebble ice cream at the first intermission and poutine at the second intermission. 

What’s not to like about the opera?

My second favourite thing about the opera was that Rebecca called us to say that she had seen the show as well – with an older crowd. Some of them went to sleep but were happy that when they woke up and the opera was still on. For some reason I identify with them, though I didn't miss a note today.

I loved that second act. Susan Graham call the love duet the national anthem of opera. That was the best musical joke of the opera.

No one could sleep through the third act which was complete with the God of the Israelites bringing down blinding light upon the God Dagon.

A good day for everyone but the Philistines.


Friday, November 16, 2018

Paul Klee / Housser - Cobalt

Paul Klee
I was three places in the museum today.

I spent the first hour in the gift shop.  No one was there.  I looked at the fabulous bags, cushion covers, eye glass containers, cups, mugs, books and bags that are associated with the different exhibitions.

Lastly I started reading about the work of Paul Klee, his artistic timeline which was written on one of the walls, and then I began to look at his beautiful watercolours.

In between, I went to the 11:00 am Docent talk again.  This time is was on Housser's painting entitled Cobalt, which is about a mining town in the middle 1930's in Canada.  The whole room is an exhibit of what painters were documenting in the 1930, in the Great Depression.

Cobalt, Ontario by Yvonne McKague Houssmer
"In this picture of the mining town of Cobalt, Ontario, Housser eliminates all fine details, simplifying and elongating the forms of the buildings and focusing on the primary use of colours.  While this formerly bustling industrial town is depicted in its dwindling years, much of its spirit and energy is still evident."
The docent gave his 10 minutes talk, and then people moved away to see other rooms in the museum.  I stood by, and he continued to talk, showing me the vanishing point in the picture and how it changed, depending on where a person was standing.  As well, we talked about the use of colour, about the Esher-like stair case and the Group of Seven like tailing piles in the background.

Now you can see the tailing piles in the background
which resemble Group of Seven mountains.
We discussed the look of the depression, the telephone poles beginning to tilt and porches on the homes beginning to sag.  Now that I look at the picture I put up, I see I should have chosen the other one which gives more detail, though it seemed smaller to me.  It is, in fact, the whole painting.

The docent taught me how to stand back from the picture, which is where it is meant to be seen -- in its entirety, instead of close up as I am usually studying these pieces.  No two forms represented twice.  Even all of the windows in the houses are different.

After an hour at the painting, he was ready to give the same story again to the 12:00 talk.  I was glad for that longer time with the painting and am going to go back and study each of the works in that room as the docent taght me to do in detail with  this one.

I finished off the day with a lecture translated to French by Seamus Kealh on Conundrums, Crises and Threats: Contemporary Curatng.  

Sad when the title of a talk like that sounds interesting to me.

Could it be that I am not getting out enough?


Met NT Live - Samson and Dalila

(Credit: Ken Howard / Metropolitan Opera)
All night I have been listening to Maria Callas sing "Printemps qui commence", probably just because I can.

But that perfect Maria Callas isn't the one who will take the role of Dalila tomorrow.

Not only am I am not familiar with this melody, I don't know the English for the lyrics though I do now:

The first of spring 
bringing hope 
to lovers' hearts 
your sigh rising 
above the earth blots out 
unhappy times. 
our soul afire 
and your sweet flame 
dries our tears. 
the soft mystery of you 
spreads the earth 
with fruit and flowers. 
no point in being pretty. 
my lovesick heart 
mourns for my betrayer 
but pines for his return. 
my desolate heart 
lost happiness. 
as night falls 
sadly in love I wander 
to sit by the river 
and wait for him in tears 
driving away my sorrow 
if he come back one day 
I wish him my love 
and sweet intoxication 
may this burning love 
keep until his return.

I hope the translation is better tomorrow on screen.

I have also been refreshing my mind about the review in OperaWire.

I am no where as sophisticated as the readers of this review must be, for everything sounds just wonderful to me.  Not hitting a high B flat isn't earth-shattering, or even something to be mentioned by me.

Mary, Rhiannon and I are the only ones who can clear our schedules to see the show tomorrow.

Lucky us.


Biscotti and Cie

... charming second floor seen above us ...
Christine picked me up at the National Gallery and drove me through the lovely Gatineau Hills to a small tourist village, Chelsea.

She was looking for the perfect lunch spot, and she knew from past experience that it could be found at a charming cottage, now turned into a restaurant called Biscotti and Cie.

I ordered something new to me off of the menu.

A panini sandwich made from roasted beets, squash and goat cheese, which tasted just like that: beets, squash and goat cheese in a toasted, buttery bun.

... one of us is waiting for a hot beverage ...
... the other has had her first beet sandwich ...
We whiled away the hours of a sunlight afternoon in a café decorated with Persian cushions and beaded lamps.

She filled me in on stories of the Mormon WOCA women, whom I have read about but never met.

A day to remember.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Everybody’s talking about Jamie

Rhiannon, Naomi, Barbara (Naomi’s friend), Mary and I went to see Everybody’s Talking about Jamie tonight – held in only select theatres across Canada. 

 The show was brought to the West End and then put in movie theatres. 

 Mary met an acquaintance in the hall who said that she had seen it when she went to London this summer.

We talked about the show on the way home. We loved the following:

1. the cross-dressers and their extravagant costumes.

2. some of the songs – especially the one by the mother, which Naomi said, made a few tears come out of her eyes.

3. the exploration of the psyche of a boy who wants to wear high heels and a dress.

4. we had to come home look up the word minger, since it is a bad word that was used often in the show, but we didn't know what it meant.  :-)


Writing from the top of the pass

 Can you see any of the rivers in the road 
from the chains on the trucks?
From Moiya at the top of Roger's Pass

Oh how I wish we were home.

It is just 7:28 pm Alberta time and we are going through the tunnels.

We were at a standstill on the highway for about an hour.

When we started going it was maybe 5 miles per hour. We have been shifting speeds between 5, 10, 15, etc., and are now traveling at 38 mph.

Traffic is only going one direction. I never driven in anything like this before.

In fact I’m not driving now, David is. But, I am experiencing it!

I can’t tell but I think 80% of the vehicles and maybe even 90% of the vehicles are trucks.

At least the snow is hurt blowing horizontally like it does in southern Alberta, but it sure is snowing.
A lot of the trucks stopped to check
their brakes at the top of the hill.

We are at the top of the pass.

The roads are extremely slippery and so the truckers have been having a hard time getting up hills.

David has been looking and almost all of them have their chains on.

Slow and steady will get us there.

We filled up before we left Calgary but I think we’re going to have to stop in revel stoke to put more gas in the car in order to make it home.

Still it is all a Winter Wonderland.