Monday, June 30, 2008

7 Months

There's a great line from Charlotte York in SATC:

"It takes half the total time you went out with someone to get over them."

The other girls have varying opinions about whether or not she is right, and can't come to a unanimous conclusion.

So this is where I'm at now. The halfway mark. All I can say is that it must be different for everyone. Granted I've done a few things to keep myself in a holding pattern, but it is the path my heart and "third eye" (yogic centre of knowledge and intuition) has instructed me to follow. I continue to listen and adjust as necessary.

My heart chakra is very open, which is what allows me to feel and receive love so fully, but it also keeps my emotions very close to the surface, where they can overflow, if I'm not mindful.

My next step is to work on my root chakra, which will keep me centered and grounded, helping me live a balanced life. In keeping with this approach, I will stop creating a blog entry for each month that passes. This is not to say that I will forget, but I am going forward in a different way.

I can't predict the future, but I can learn from the mistakes of my past to ensure I do not repeat them. I empathise with those who are on a similar journey and wish you all well.

June 2008 Books and Movies

Hunting and Gathering
Anna Galvada

This is an English translation of a beautiful French novel entitled "Ensemble C'est Tout". It has recently been made into a movie starring Audrey Tatou as Camille. Of course it has very limited release here in Canada, with practically no advertisement. I'm glad I read the book first and am looking forward to reading it in the original French as well. Most movies change the book, and I'm sure this is no exception. The characters are so finely drawn, so quirky, so engaging. I practically read it in one sitting and it's over 400 pages long! There's no narrative, so sometimes the dialogue is a bit difficult to follow, but even if you need to re-read a passage you will get more out of it. I highly recommend this book, it's absolutely stunning.

Get Smart

This was really, really funny! Best line in the movie was the Alan Arkin "Swordfish" line. I kept laughing well after it was over. Steve Carell has the best dead pan. Ann Hathaway, whom I've always liked a lot, held her own really well. The Rock was a lot of fun as well. A fun couple of hours, definitely go see it!

The Importance of Being Earnest

How could I have missed this gem when it first came out? I love the plays of Oscar Wilde and Colin Firth! Excellently done, with a great cast. Apparently the director, Oliver Parker has also done a version of An Ideal Husband, which, of course, I now have to see!

13 Going On 30

Cute chick flick take on the 80s movie Big. I don't generally like Jennifer Garner, but she was very convincing in this movie. The fashion from both 1987 and 2004 was spot on and of course, I love any movie genuinely set in NYC, not Toronto or Montreal masquerading as NYC. Although the love interest was pretty weak, there was the requisite "happy ending" so all turns out ok.

In Her Shoes

What a wonderfully funny, heart-wrenching and beautiful story. I've loved Toni Collette ever since I first saw her in Muriel's Wedding. I was impressed with her very realistic American accent. I'm not always a fan of Cameron Diaz, but she was really great in this. I love shoes, so all the pretty shoe candy was a big plus. Francine Beers (who was Mrs. Cohen aka Ol' Lightning Rod in an episode of SATC) had some of the best lines. Although a touch predictable in places, I really enjoyed it.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Toronto Jazz Festival

Once again I volunteered at the Toronto Jazz Festival and saw some great performances while doing it.

Sunday, June 22

I saw the Geri Allen Quartet. Great pianist with wonderful phrasing. Loved the added synthesizer sound. Another big highlight was her tap dancer, he was phenomenal! They were followed by the Alto Summit (Red Holloway, Donald Harrison, Greg Osby, Bobby Watson) who were exceptional. Alto Sax has never been my favorite jazz instrument, but I was moved to pieces by a soulful, smooth ballad. They also played Herbie Hancock's Cantaloupe Island to great applause.Great show!

Monday, June 23

Tonight I caught a tiny snippet of Ahmad Jamal. Another great pianist, with a fantastic band. I was sorry I couldn't get there sooner to catch Oliver Jones and see a few more tunes from Jamal.

Wednesday, June 25

Tonight I worked my first volunteer shift. What a night! Saw The Blind Alabama Boys, they were absolutely amazing. The highlight of the night was their version of Amazing Grace set to The Animals "House of the Rising Sun". My shift was in the Green Room, so not only did I get to see the Boys up close, I also met another great, the pianist Robi Botos. The night began with the Cyrus Chestnut Trio, who were very good as well.

Thursday, June 26

I was late to this concert due to a rehearsal, but what I saw was phenomenal! Roy Hargrove, Frank Wess (great flute!), Paquito D'Rivera (holy cow can that man play the clarinet!), Roberta Gambarini (love her voice!) and many more. The crowd was electric and the musicians were incredible. Very nearly my favorite performance of the festival.

Friday, June 27

Worked my 2nd shift of the festival tonight in the Green Room for the John Abercrombie/Mike Stern/John Scofield show. Wow, those are some serious music fans that came to that show. There was no room, even to stand, so I had to listen to the show from outside the tent. The evening ended with an impromptu duet between Stern and Scofield, which was awesome. There were big crowds looking for autographs at the end of the show. I was pleased to see that the kid with the guitar was able to get his instrument signed by both Mike Stern and John Scofield. He was so happy!

I also caught a snippet of the lunchtime Galloway's Surprise Swing Session, luckily, when Guido Basso (!!) joined the fray. It's so great when you get a treat like that, I was blown away.

Saturday, June 28

By far, my favorite show of the festival! The show was sure to be a sell out, so I bought a ticket to ensure admission. Hilario Duran started the night with his trio, which included Mark Kelso on drums and Roberto Occhipinti on string bass, playing a few world premieres in his set. Wonderful, I always enjoy Hilario when I see him. Then came Arturo Sandoval. I was absolutely blown away. This man just kept pulling rabbits out of his hat. Trumpet, piano, vocals, percussion, keyboards/synthesiser, the man can do it all. I was flabbergasted by the high and low range of his trumpet, he literally sounded like a tuba at one point. His band was fabulous, especially the bongo player. Roberto even came into the tent to watch Arturo's bass player do a solo. The night ended with getting my ticket signed by both Hilario and Arturo, a wonderful keepsake from a brilliant night.

Sunday, June 29

First up was the Sapporo Jazz Orchestra, a teen big band from Japan. They are all studying at a jazz high school and they are good! Definitely look for some of them in 10 years to be playing the circuit!

The DMBQ lunchtime concert blew me away. Co-fronted by Tara Davidson, Mike Murley and David Braid, they also played compositions by all three. I had been told by many people that I had to see Mike Murley play sax, and they were right. The control, the overtones, simply amazing. David Braid's compositions are so lyrical, so melodic, especially the tune "Interior Castles". Mike and Pete enjoyed the show as well, it was a great way to pass the afternoon.

Looking forward to next year!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dirty Dancing: The Stage Show

Just got back from seeing this, what fun! Totally cheesetastic, it followed the movie pretty spot on, with a few added scenes that didn't really enhance the basic story. The coolest part was to see how they used amazing technical theatre devices to show scenes such as when Johnny and Baby practice lifts in the water. I found the plot extensions to be quite indulgent, so I'm curious as to the dramaturgy behind them. The girl playing Penny was an unbelievable dancer, she had the most amazing legs! Johnny was played by an understudy tonight, and flubbed his line 3 times, so that kind of took away from his performance. I wonder what the "real" Johnny is like. Of course, no one can top Patrick Swayze in the movie! I've seen it over 30 times, thanks to countless sleepovers in Junior High. :) What a fun way to spend a Thursday night!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

An Emotional Day

Whew, sometimes life can throw you a doozy. Between my grandmother is in the hospital recovering from emergency spinal surgery, my mom is not doing very well, and work, the stress levels are rising. Which is why I do yoga, but today, my emotions just wouldn't be subdued. We had to do some partner work today, and while the instructor was demonstrated, I guess I decided unconciously that I wouldn't be able to do it. So when I tried, that's just what happened. And then everything just came pouring out. The instructor has seen everything, and was very supportive. It was a little embarrasing to cry in front of the other yoga goers, but I'm not sorry it happened, as it was a new experience and I learned something from it. I know I'm sometimes more than a little frustrated at my limitations in yoga, and it does seem that, often times, I'm the only one who isn't able to do a move. It's a huge challenge to try and accept my body the way it is working on any given day, and not pass judgement or compare myself to others. The day was rounded off by visiting my grandfather, which was a bit sad because he is really living a life of isolation, with his increasing deafness, and my grandmother in the hospital. I'm happy to report that she is doing better, although she is still on bed rest. They can't move her to rehab until her wound has healed. I feel quite drained, but hopefully I'll sleep well tonight.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

ETT Annual Dinner

Went to my first ETT Annual Dinner this evening at the Royal York. It was pretty fun, good food (pistachio crusted halibut in a lobster bisque with lemon dill risotto and chocolate pecan tart with melon gelato for dessert) and dancing. They showed the completed 10th anniversary DVD that the Communications Committee I was on worked most of the year towards. I'm looking forward to the next event, a boat cruise on the Northern Spirit.