My husband and I drove down Bank Street until we came to Patty's Pub. We were seated in an area where the stage was mostly out of view. I spotted Charles and his wife MaryAnn right away. So I knew we were in the right place. Robin (yes, that is my husband's name) and I ordered supper. I ordered a cooler to calm myself down. I don't usually imbibe. Why do I not drink? Silliness and obnoxious behaviour usually ensues. Sigh. However, I felt this evening would be an exception. Mistake? Perhaps.
In the middle of our meal, tables became empty and we moved closer to the stage. At this point, Charles and MaryAnn had begun their music session. They played original songs and some Tom Wilson, Fred Eaglesmith, and Steve Earle. Okay, I admit I wouldn't have known if no one had told me. I only knew when they were singing original songs. Either way, I very much enjoyed their style. I especially enjoyed a song about Crow Girls that MaryAnn sang. It reminded me of Julie Delpy's singing on the Before Sunset soundtrack. Ah, so lovely! Oh, and Charles's rendition of Phoebe's "Smelly cat" (which he sang as "Stinky cat") was an unexpected pleasure as Robin likes to sing his rendition to me on a daily basis ("Mellybird, mellybird" replacing "Smelly Cat, smelly cat")
A couple sat down at the table next to us shortly after the session began. A friend of theirs came over to chat with them and we invited him to sit at our table so they could talk. It turns out these are friends of Charles and MaryAnn. Robin got talking to one of the men and told him why we came to the pub. I was talking to Kenny (who later joined them on stage) and he said Charles would be delighted to know we were here. He said I should definitely talk to him. I told him I was too shy. He then asked if I had brought books to get signed. I hadn't. I didn't want to make Charles do "business" when the focus was on his music. Had I read www.charlesdelint.com and Mary Ann's website (www.sfsite.com/charlesdelint/mah/) carefully I would have known they encourage their fans to talk to them, to not be shy, and to bring books! Oops!
During their intermission, MaryAnn sat down at our table. The friends told her that Robin and I had come to hear them perform. We had a lovely chat. The problem with my writing this blog two weeks after the event is that I've forgotten details. Not to mention I was on my second cooler by this time. Oh dear! She called over to Charles and he joined us. Introductions were made. He thanked me for reading his books. I thanked him for writing them. I mentioned that I even named my blog after one of his books. When I told him it was Tapping the Dream Tree he said to thank MaryAnn as she had come up with the title. So, I did.
We talked about how authors don't make a lot of money unless their books are optioned as screenplays. I've often wondered why his books haven't been made into movies. There could be a whole series! Why stop there, let's make video games too! I'm serious. I'd play video games if they took place in Newford and Mabon!
They toasted us to our new marriage. That's very cool, if you ask me.
Charles was about to return to the stage and asked if I was sticking around until the end of the set. I said I was. He said "okay, then I'll wait and say goodbye then". Very nice of him! Back at the stage, Charles dedicated a song to me. He asked me if I had read Medicine Road. I said "uh, no" then added "but i'm honest!". I just meant that it's hard to tell an author you haven't read one of their books when you're asked. It would have been easier to say "uh, yeah, sure...great book, yeah". Plus, I wasn't sure that I hadn't read it. I've read so many that I can't put the title with the book all of the time. Turns out, I haven't read it. Anyway, he asked if I was familiar with the Crow Girls and I said "yes!" a little too enthusiatically. So, he played a song for little old me!
At the end of the show, one of the men at the table asked if I had brought my camera. I had. He offered to take a photo of me with Charles. So up to the stage we went. Charles was busy packing his equipment. I told MaryAnn that I wanted her to pass on a message to Charles as he was busy. I told her that his books meant a lot to me because I was able to connect with the characters when I couldn't connect to anyone in life. It's very true. His writing is unlike anything I've come across before. The characters and the writing sing to my soul. That's the only way I can describe it. I didn't mention that part to her. Just the connecting with the characters part. Anyway, that led to a really good conversation with MaryAnn. She is such a warm, engaging person. We had lots to talk about. Let's just say that I really should get off my bum and work harder at being an artist. Life is too short to shuffle paperwork. Charles had finished for the time being, and I had the chance to tell Charles what I had just told MaryAnn. He seemed pleased to hear I had been affected in this way by his writing. He then went and signed a postcard and bookmark from his latest release "Widdershins". I haven't read this book yet. I'm going to buy it soon. It should be a wonderful read as the plot, involving two of my most favourite characters, has been building in several previous books. Yippee!! Then we sat for a photo and I asked MaryAnn to sit with us. It's a lovely photo. I'll post it if I get permission first. Then Charles gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek! Hazukashii!!!!!!! It was at this time, that I really should have left but instead I felt compelled to finish my drink. So, I sat talking to Kenny for a few minutes. It's enough that I was slightly looped the whole evening but I was starting to babble and get annoying (to myself and others I assume). Luckily, I was with it enough to suspect I was annoying and bid adieu. So, Robin and I returned to our hotel where my dreams were very sweet.
I also have to admit something. When I read books with the characters Cerin and Meran, I always picture them as Charles and MaryAnn. Ever since the first time I saw their websites. Now that I've met them in person, I can still agree with my initial assessment. I hope that is alright with them!
(I have forgotten much of what we discussed in the evening. Funny how I was able to obsess for several days or what I said, or didn't say, or should have said and now two weeks later I don't remember any of it anyway.)
Picture it...Ottawa...summmer 2006. I was but a young woman of 31. My newlywed husband and I went to his family's cottage at a lake near Perth for a week of nature worship and family communion. When planning this visit, I recalled that my favourite author performs in a band with his wife and various others at a local pub in Ottawa on Thursdays. I'd been eager to do this pilgrimage for a couple of years and now the timing was just right. Auspicious even. Well, maybe not. Either way, off to Ottawa we went.
The day was lovely. We found a convenient hotel in Byward Market. We had a bite to eat at an Indian restaurant. Quite tasty. We walked to the National Gallery of Canada to view the Emily Carr exhibition. She just happens to be one of my favourite artists. We were disappointed to find that the painting "Decorative Landscape" by Lawren Harris was nowhere to be found. Loaned out to another gallery, perhaps? Oh oh, I feel a tangent coming on....and I'm off! In highschool we studied the Group of Seven. I hated them. The paintings were dull and cold and stark. I didn't see what all of the fuss was with these foolish artists who didn't know when to come out of the cold. Several years later (okay, maybe only five) I went to an exhibit at Kleinberg. Then I understood. Their art captures nature in a way that is almost otherworldly. It is mesmerizing. Then one day I was at the National Gallery of Canada and saw the aforementioned painting by Lawren Harris. Seeing that painting struck me in that way that only occasionally happens. My heart starts to ache and I want to cry because of the beauty or truth the moment (or in this case, art) possesses. I stared in awe. After pulling myself away from the painting, I went to visit the boutique. I had planned to buy a print of the painting but was disappointed to see the beauty could not be reproduced. That's when I realized why I couldn't appreciate the Group of Seven in school. Slides, prints, and posters, cannot capture the magic living in their work.
Okay, back on track. So, my husband and I left the gallery and wandered around a few shops. I was tired and thirsty. We returned to the hotel and decided to have a swim in the pool. I have quite a fancy for hotel swimming pools. Luckily it was dinner time so there were no other occupants. We sat in the jacuzzi and swam to cool off.
Then it was time to get ready for the big event.
Before we get to that (in the next post) here is a little background info. I first came across the writing of Charles de Lint in 1998. My sister had a copy of "Traders". I'm guessing she thought it was business related as that is her type of thing. When I asked her about it, she said "it's ok, a bit weird, but ok". I was hooked with the first page. The second book I read was "Memory & Dream". The story hit a little too close to home as I had studied art at college with a class of 18 students. The instructor who claimed to be a wiccan priest was quite eccentric and took to whispering in my ear while I sketched. He would say that I saw things differently and that I understood the magic in the world would soon be sniffed out. Many strange things happened that year. Including his boxing my ear one day and encouraging the students to take acid. But I digress... I had to rely on the library to read anything else by Charles. The bookstores weren't selling his books. At least no where that I could find. Luckily, my library had quite the selection. Recently, I've found his books are showing up in abundance at Chapters (in Canada) and Borders (in the US). My favourite book is Onion Girl. Okay, that's enough background info. Read on...
It has been a crazy summer and the end is on its way. I have much to say and yet my blog says so little. What did I do with all my time this summer? I got married, I went on a honeymoon, I worked, I went to a cottage, I met my favourite author, and that brings me to the present. I hope to describe all of these moments but I don't know when I'll get around to it. Wish me luck!
Last Saturday, I attended a family reunion in Vittoria, Ontario. This tiny little town (if it is large enough to call a town) was settled by my ancestors. They were originally from France. As Huguenots, they left France for the Netherlands. Then they moved to New York. That was great and all until that whole revolution thing. As United Empire Loyalists they made a wise decision and moved to New Brunswick and made their way down to Ontario where they settled the area. Centuries later, I sit here writing. I'll post a more in-depth blog entry about this when I feel like it.
Anyway, Vittoria is near Turkey Point which is near Long Point. As we were driving around the scenic area, we had several run-ins with wild Turkeys running amok. Very amusing. Now I understand why the point is named after these creatures.
I found Long Point to be noteworthy. Well, aspects of it anyway. There are these beautiful marshes. Lovely! And true to its name, the point is long.
That's all for now. My posts lack lustre. Hopefully that will change soon. :)
It's true. Seriously. Late in the Summer I went to the doctor about my lack of energy, constant sleepiness, and tonsilitis. This has been an ongoing problem for me. The doctor ordered a blood test for mono. The policy is that the doctor's office will call you if something if the results test positive. I never heard back. I even revisited the doctor again with the same symptoms a few times in the months ahead. The mono was never mentioned.
I visited the doctor a couple weeks ago. I dealt with a different doctor. After I told her my symptoms she checked my chart on the computer and made a comment about my having had mono last fall. I interrupted her with a "WHAAA?? I had WHAT?" She said "you tested positive for Mono". I said "I did? No one ever told me that!" She look horrified and said she was sorry no one had told me and quickly rescheduled a new blood test for mono.
And have I heard back from this doctor's office regarding the results? Um, no. So, I must go make another phone call to see what the deal is. Turns out I should have been in bed for at least a month! No WONDER I felt so horrible all winter! No WONDER I had the flu, bronchitis, AND pnuemonia! I'm pissed off.
My soon-to-be husband told me about an online bookstore with some fabulous deals on books I haven't been able to find locally. I just received my order today. I love getting mail! Especially a heavy box stuffed with bubble wrap and books!
What did I get? Let me tell you...
I Live in Tokyo by Mari Takabayashi (an illustrated children's book) The Onion Girl by Charles de Lint (one of my all-time favourite books) Someplace to be Flying by Charles de Lint Angel of Darkness by Charles de Lint Ash Wednesday by Ethan Hawke Samurai William by Giles Milton The Valkyries, The Fifth Mountain, Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho
The highest priced item was USD$5.99. The lowest $2.79. YAHOO!!!
This is my kitty watching Amazing Race from my childhood rocking chair. She is enthralled.
I have fond memories of sitting in this chair. I had a garishly bright yellow room at the time. I think the colour traumatized me. I really do. I liked to read my favourite book in this chair. It was one of those "first picture book" dictionaries. It had a blue and white checkered pattern on the cover. There was a puppy hidden on some of the pages. I would count the number of times I found him. More importantly, I loved the quality of the watercoloured illustrations. My favourite pages had colour mixing on them. I'll never forget how to make purple. I think my Grandparents gave me both the book and the chair. I could be wrong though.
I wonder what Chloe thinks about when she rocks in my chair. I worry about her. Last night I noticed she is missing a toe nail. Ouch! I hope she is okay.
SUGOI!!!!!! I did my happy dance last night. The team I was rooting for on Amazing Race 9 WON the last leg of the race! They won a million dollars!!!! Omedeto Tyler!! Omedeto BJ!! I am thrilled!
This team began their journey with an unconventional attitude and great enthusiasm. In my opinion they have won so much more than just a million dollars. Although, that is a pretty decent reward! Ha! I mentioned in a previous post that their journey reminds me of the fool's journey in tarot. They go through the game enjoying themselves and living in the moment. They've overcome obstables and gained knowledge and experience. Finally, they complete their journey. In Tarot, this is represented by "The World" card. How fitting to this game. "The World" signifies completion, achievement, travel, and improvements in one's lifestyle.
Okay, the beep beep title has little to do with this post. Something in the hallway is beeping and it distracted me from my thought process when deciding on a title. So, "beep beep" is it.
I had a lovely weekend. I went shopping near Frankenmuth, Michigan with my fiance. The weather was crummy. Which was good because who wants to shop indoors on a beautiful spring weekend. I got some clothing for my honeymoon and a lovely crochet purse for $7. Yay, pretty purse!!! I also bought travel scrabble and some books at Borders. I'm most excited about the autobiography of Tori Amos. I've wanted to buy the book for over a year. Move over DaVinci Code. Tori has been saying similar stuff for years! Oh, and the big deal was an Ott-lite lamp for $69. Over half price off! I haven't seen these lamps in Canada. They're great because the light bulb gives off a more natural light similar to the outdoors. We also made sure to check out the local grocery store to see what products we're missing out on in Canada. I ended up with a super cool holographic belt that has travel slogans and famous landmarks all over it. When I walk, the picture changes. My favourite parts of the belt include a Polaroid of the Eiffel tower and a selection of Matreshka dolls. Very cool!
I have to say that I was really excited last night watching Amazing Race 9. The team I'm rooting for did very well which guarantees them a spot in the top 3. What really makes the show more exciting is the sneak peek of next week's season finale. The teams are going to Japan! I've been SO hopeful that they would go to Japan this season. Then when I found out that one of the guys from my team (the one I'm rooting for) walked across Japan, I REALLY wanted to see them visit Japan. I even had a gut feeling that they might this season. I dismissed it once I saw that they were going to Thailand. I figured they would have gone to Japan right after Australia. So you can imagine my excitement when I saw the sneak peek. Whoohoo!!!!!!
I feel agitated thinking about waiting to see the finale. I want to know what happens now! I want to see Japan! Ok, I need to calm down. I know, I know, it's about the journey, not the destination. ha!
(*note: The photo isn't from today and I didn't take it but this IS one of the trees I admired on my walk. I'd take a photo but my camera is at home.) Lots o' rain today. I love humid, rainy weather. The rain was my lullaby last night. Unfortunately I can't sleep with music in the background. So, I'm peacefully sleepy today.
As I was returning to my building from Weldon Library an hour ago, I admired the blossoming trees on campus. Western's colours are Purple and White so the grounds are filled with trees which blossom in white or various shades of purple. There are few things I love more than the smell of purple or white blossoms. Especially Lilac. I'm in love with the smell. I'd like to marry it. If i was Eygptian I'd have it buried with me.
So, I'm walking along and enjoying the sights and smells when I notice the dark sky. Oooh, more rain? Yay! Rain is sexy. Rain is comforting. Rain begins to fall. Heavily. With no spitting, or drizzling, or sprinkling. No, just a big sky-bucket full of watery goodness. Of course, I run to my building for shelter. Only because I didn't want my documents from the library to get wet.
A co-worker stood in the doorway as I entered and asked "Oh, is it raining?" Oh, what a funny man! Heh. He mentioned that he doesn't mind rain as long as it is warm. He hates the November rain. I agreed and called it "dreary ice darts". He liked that. I feel clever.
Now I'm back in my office. I wish I had a window. Sigh.
I came across a movie review online for Kamataki. It's about a young medical student in Montreal who is grieving for his father. His mother sends him to Japan to visit his uncle who is a famous potter. I'd say more but I might ruin the movie. Well, actually I don't know too much more. I can't wait to go see the movie myself. It is a Japanese/Canadian co-production and is filmed in Montreal, Kyoto, and Shigaraki. Yeah, not New Zealand! Ha!!!
"You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have The Facts of Life."
Today, I got my copy of Seasons 1 & 2 of Facts of Life on DVD. VERY EXCITING! This was me and my sister's favourite show as a child. I haven't seen an episode in several years.
They had some great theme songs for TV sitcoms back in the day. Here is a link to the one for Facts of Life. Fabulous stuff...heh..heh. www.lyricsondemand.com
I especially like the Christmas episodes from this series. Other highlights include the episode where the 4 girls study for exams and the episode in the later years where they decide to try their hand at opening a pizza business. Oh, those zany antics of the mid-80s!
I have nothing to say. I'm writing only to get back into the routine of daily blogging.
I bought a bike last night. Whoohoo!!!! I wanted to get a lovely Japanese riding bicycle with a basket, light generator, and bell BUT I'd have to go to Japan to get one. Someday I will! I'll have it shipped back home by sea mail. For now, this new bike from the local Costco will have to do. It's quite lovely.
Lunch. That's the other thought coming to my mind. 17 minutes until I can eat. I sauteed vegetables and will eat them with spaghettini. I prefer angel hair but I'm out of that.
You may be wondering why I've suddenly rediscovered my love for blogging. It all started a few months ago with the season premiere of Amazing Race 9. I took an instant liking to the BJ & Tyler duo. It could have been the vertically striped Orange corduroy. I'd have a corduroy wedding dress if I could. And corduroy pajamas. and corduroy shoes. Ahhh....corduroy. More likely, it wasn't the corduroy that won my heart. It was the team's attitude. They seem like people who are actually really happy to be alive. They are breathing in the world around them. Smelling, tasting, touching, hearing and seeing what life has to offer. I wish I had that kind of joy rushing through me. I did at one time in my life. Watching this team has given me hope that I can rediscover those feelings inside of me. Of course, I realize that Amazing Race is all about the editing. Tyler and BJ are often described as clowns or hippies. However, I see them on a fool's journey. Now that might seem derogatory, but is really a compliment. If you are familiar with the tarot, you know that the journey through life is referred to as the "fool's journey". Both Tyler and BJ have embarked on this quest with a child-like exuberance. They're spontaneous, playful and open to experience. They have the inner strength to stay positive when their path on the race is unclear and ridden with obstacles. They're true to themselves and at the end of the race they'll know they followed their own truth and made a new path for themselves. I'm also impressed by their respect and reverence for the places they visit. It seems they usually try to learn a few phrases of the language spoken in the area. They treat people nicely wherever they go and in turn, things work out for them. Karma.
Over the weeks, I've wanted to delve a little deeper to know where BJ and Tyler come from. So last week, I did a little seeking and found the website www.kintarowalksjapan.com In 2004, Tyler walked the entire length of Japan. Starting from the southern tip of Kyushu all the way to the northern tip of Hokkaido. Sugoi!! More surprising, Tyler had made a documentary of his journey. I quickly used my paypal and ordered a copy. I lived in Japan from January 1999 to August 2000. I lived in Matsuyama, Ehime for a year and Ube & Hofu, Yamaguchi during the summer of 2000. I miss Japan terribly so I jumped at the chance to see a documentary from the perspective of Tyler.
I got to watch the DVD two nights ago. I LOVED IT! As enjoyable as it is to watch Tyler, I was equally impressed by his girlfriend Ayumi. I later found her blog online. She seems to be a down-to-earth, humourous, and altruistic soul. I would say they are a perfect match!
I think I might email Kintaro (Tyler) about his travels. I want to know his experiences walking through Matsuyama. When I came across the Kintaro Walks Japan website I vaguely recalled a Japanese friend telling me that some American Gaijin was walking across Japan. Now I wished I had paid more attention to what the friend had told me. Did she meet him? Did she read about it in the local newspaper?
I try to imagine what Tyler's journey really must have been like. My walks through Japan consisted of walking a bridge in the humid July heat to an island where we had our fair share of okonomiyaki; my weekly 15 minute walks to the video store that ended up taking hours because I'd have to stop and admire every crane, rice paddy, lotus blossom, and dragonfly along the way; and rushing through the open air malls on my way to meet with friends. If I could have been a fly on the outer wall of Tyler's backpack, I'd have been in my glory!
So, after viewing this documentary, I googled Tyler's website and came upon his girlfriend's blog as well. Reading her entries, I decided I should blog again. It's good for the soul. Anyway, I'm babbling...again. I guess that is the point of blogging, right? Mostly I just want to say that living vicariously through the journeys and successes of others inspires me to follow my dreams however faded and unclear they have become.
Thanks Kintaro and Ayumi. I needed to rekindle my fire. :)
Well, first off, I must say that I hate the winter season. I need sunlight. I need to feel connected to nature. At first I enjoy hibernation. Soon, it becomes a drag. I literally drag. I drag my sorry bottom out of bed. I drag myself to work. I drag my fingers across my keyboard. I drag my lazy legs down the hallway to the lunch room. I drag my weary body back home. I drag myself to bed. A true drag! My solution? A light box. If you position the light towards your face your eyes absorb the light so desperately needed for chemical brain happiness. Did it work? Well, sorta.
Luckily, I survived yet another winter and now it is SPRING!
Highlights of the Winter include: My boyfriend became an uncle for the very first time Attended the Barenaked Ladies Christmas & Hannukah Concert (Aaron Walpole showed up on stage!) Saw Annie Musical at the Grand Theatre Went to Calgary right after Christmas Went to Disney World and got engaged Had two weeks off of work due to pneumonia My sister gave birth to her second daughter A car turned left into oncoming traffic in front of me and my mother. We smashed into it. My mom's car was totalled. We're ok but I'm still freaked out when I'm in a car. Saw Rock & Roll musical at the Grand Theatre (starring Aaron Walpole!!!!!)
I apologize to all my adoring fans for not keeping my posts up-to-date. I admit it... I have failed you.
It has been a busy year. I met my soon-to-be-husband in January 2005 but we didn't start dating until early September. He took me to Calgary during the last week of December to meet his family. I was thrilled to revisit Banff for an overnight stay. Unfortunately, my flu bug kicked in while we searched for a parking spot on the main street. We had lunch in the hopes that my queasiness would pass. I had Miso soup and Daikon salad. Oishikatta! We went for a drive around Banff Springs Hotel and I made an executive decision. Get me the #$&% out of here before I hurl! And that ended our Banff experience! Turns out if we'd gone into the hotel as planned we would have witnessed the wedding of figure skaters Jamie Sale and David Pelletier.
At the end of January, my boyfriend took me to Walt Disney World for a 4-day trip. I haven't been there since I was a child. It was a wonderful trip full of that Disney magic EXCEPT for the fact that I was again very sick with a chest and head cold. By the middle of the second day I had developed a fever of 104 deg. F. This time I had to be taken to the clinic in Orlando. Turns out I had full blown pneumonia in my left lung. Despite this setback, my boyfriend still chose to propose marriage. I said Yes!!!!!
So, the last few months have been a flurry of wedding planning activity.
After the wedding on July 8, we'll leave for a 2 week vacation to Paris and Loire Valley. This will be my first visit to Europe.
I promise to blog more. I found a draft of a posting from November regarding a concert my fiance and I attended. I'll finish writing it eventually and post it here.