Saturday, November 13, 2010

Catching up by way of Jeopardy's favourite category: Potpourri

I haven't been a terribly active blogger these last few weeks. This because: a) my life is frankly not that interesting (but I blog about it anyway); and b) I've been busy writing/editing and I feel like any moment I'm at my home computer and not working on my manuscript is equivalent to goofing off. Therefore, it's time for a lightening round/potpourri blog post.

Toronto Marathon, October 17th, 2010
I believe I mentioned in passing that Andrew and I had planned to run the Toronto marathon when we were home in October. It started out rather lovely. The weather was good--sunny, but only around 13/14 degrees Celsius--we were enjoying running the streets of Toronto and recognizing places we'd been, and we were projecting a finish time of around 4 hours and 15 minutes at the halfway mark. Unfortunately, we didn't get there. My IT band burst into flames around the 30 km mark.

Okay, it didn't burst into flames, but it started to give me that old familiar feeling that if I didn't stop running, and soon, my knee would tear itself apart. I seem to have a 30 km cap on my IT band, as that is usually where it bothered me in our training runs. Sometimes I'd be able to keep going (as in our last 37 km training route), but there were a couple of times where we had to walk home. I was disappointed to stop (I think I actually started to hyperventilate and cry a bit), but I'm still able to run now, which might not have been the case if I'd tried to push through. We're taking it slow right now, having only run more than 5 km once since getting home. We're also transitioning into our Vibram Five-Fingers, which are awesome, but they take A LOT of getting used to.

Hotel MacDonald, October 23rd, 2010
Andrew and I celebrated our 6th anniversary (actually on the 22nd of October) as if we were rich by staying at the Hotel MacDonald in Edmonton. For those of you who aren't familiar with Edmonton's Hotel MacDonald, it's an old CP Rail Hotel built on the edge of the river valley and it's beautiful. We brought our camera with us intending to take pictures of the hotel and our room, but we never got around to it. We booked a suite as apart of a packaged deal where we got our room, dinner (excluding beverages), breakfast and valet parking all for one price. The food was marvelous. I had pork for my main, while Andrew went for the surf 'n turf (also the most expensive entree on the menu). We were absolutely stuffed at the end, but it was well worth it.

Chantel Kreviazuk and the ESO, November 1st, 2010
To be honest, neither Andrew or I are huge fans. We don't own any of Chantel's CDs, although we're familiar with her music--and she wrote my favourite Song Quest song, from the CBC challenge last year: "In Waskada Somewhere." However, when we saw the show advertised in the 2010-11 ESO program we thought it might be fun so we purchased tickets. We sat in our regular spots (dead centre, front row of the Upper Circle), and so had a good view of the stage.

I rather enjoyed the concert. I think Chantel has a strong singing voice, and is an excellent pianist. Attending the concert made me wish I had more time to practice (both the piano and singing), but I still lack the basic underlying skills to ever be better than the average individual who's completed their Grade 8 Royal Conservatory exam. She told the audience stories about the origins of her songs, which I think added a nice personal touch, and also made her seem quite human--like she might be fun to have a couple of beers with. I also thought the orchestra sounded splendid, as always. The orchestrations were lush and dramatic, and seemed as though each arrangement would be perfect for the final scene in an award-winning movie.

RED, November 5th, 2010
I'd noticed a couple of folks endorsed RED through their Facebook posts, but hadn't much notion of what the movie was about. A couple of weeks ago I even had a conversation about it with my skating coach. On a whim last Friday afternoon I thought I would check out the trailer and immediately thought: yes. Andrew and I hadn't been out to see a movie since How to Train Your Dragon at Easter, so this seemed like the perfect choice to break that streak. It was full of action (lots of guns), was completely silly, contained surprisingly few swear words, and a whole slew of big names (Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, and others). Andrew and I both enjoyed it immensely. And, it was partly filmed in Ontario--during a scene in the movie I leaned over to Andrew and said: I think that's the Toronto Reference Library! I couldn't find anything online to absolutely confirm this statement, but I'm pretty sure.

NaNoWriMo, all of November, 2010
Ah NaNoWriMo, how I love to hate you. I've previously blogged on my concerns regarding NaNoWriMo here, so I'm not going to re-hash my feelings now. What it does do is force me to write everyday, which I should be doing anyway. I've choosen to work on Nora's third and final story, which has been a lot of fun. I've realized that Nora's a lot like me in her neurotic, over worrying tendances, which is perhaps why she's so easy to write. Presently I'm at the halfway mark in my word count, and that's with a day on which I wrote absolutely nothing. I should get the 50,000 done with no problem, but I'm hoping to get more than that written, since I know 50,000 words is not enough for a completed novel.



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