Knitpocalypse

Sooooooooo. . . First off, don’t blame me for the lateness of this blog post, as I did warn you! I’m so busy right now that 6 hours of sleep at a time is an amazing luxury . . . And I still have 8 knitting projects and one embroidery project for Christmas presents, as well as the boatloads of cookies I’m going to be baking next week. And the decorating, and the parties, and the singing, and the sing-along messiah, a crazy-packed weekend coming up, and the fact that I’m going to be at work until next Wednesday. AND ANOTHER DOCTOR WHO MARATHON!!!!!!! Not that I’m excited or anything. . . Though, I finished and packed all my presents bound for Calgary (for the boyfriend’s family) yesterday – just in time to ship them off on the last day that Canada Post will guarantee arrival by Christmas. And I didn’t even have to wait in line! It was surreal.

I just had a full day of software training at work today (so. bored.), and I’m running off to see my fearless leader for our present exchange dinner (at Elle M’a Dit – Alsatian cuisine!!). And I also have a treat to make for the post-service wine and cheese tomorrow. That I’d forgotten about until yesterday. Oops. . . I’m soooooo busy!!

So I can’t go swimming until Thursday, mope. Since a bout with the flu a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been pretty terrible about regular workouts. Though, that’s offset by the roughly 5 pounds I lost because of the flu. Which I somehow haven’t gained right back. . .

In the YAY column of life – my concert this past weekend went amazingly well!! Though, coming off the major adrenalin surge I got from that isn’t fun. Headaches and exhaustion and lethargy, oh my! Also awesome are
The sunrises recently – they’ve been so spectacular I haven’t been able to resent being up early enough to see them. Wish I had photos to share, but I was so awestruck I missed my photo opportunity window two days running. . . I do have a couple photos of the spectacular moon the last couple of days though:

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Maybe it’s the excess X-mas spirit I’ve gotten from singing a concert of Christmas carols (and Britten’s Ceremony of Carols!!!), maybe it’s hormones, maybe it’s finding someone whose awesome nerdiness rivals even my own, but damn but have I been feeling chipper. Exhausted and chipper, weird combination. Maybe it’s the fact that for the first time in two years I’ve been able to be genuinely happy without stress or excessive pressure on my shoulders. Maybe this is what real happiness feels like. Though, it’d be sad if I can’t recognize pure, unadulterated happiness, wouldn’t it?

Screw it, no introspection for me today. Life is good! It probably won’t stay that way for long, but dammit I’ll enjoy it while it lasts!

And seriously – I’m ridiculously excited about my upcoming Doctor Who-a-thon this Friday: awesome show, awesome awesome people to hang out with, awesome Whovian crafts (can’t wait!!), awesome Whovian snacks!!!! This week is going by soooooooooo slowly. . . If only I had a better TARDIS than this one:

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(made by me!)

It would definitely come in handy right about now. . .

And now, back to some knitting. How busy are you this month, Dear Internet?

(and, reading this back to myself, I’m noticing that sleeplessness really doesn’t help in elocution. Sorry about the jumping from topic to topic. . . Maybe I’ll be more lucid after the craziness of Christmas has passed? Not that I was very lucid to begin with. . .)

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Opera, and other stuffs

Ok. So. . . That was an AMAZING opera production. AMAZING!

I must admit to preferring early opera to Romantic or Classical opera. I just like the music better. Don’t get me wrong, I do ocasionally lurve the Mozart, it’s just that well. . . He never really hits my heart the way earlier music does.

That being said – if you’re in Toronto, I HIGHLY!! recommend going to see Opera Atelier’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Guest conductor, Italian Stefano Montanari, is charismatic, expressive and a great leader for the exceptional Tafelmusik Orchestra. He didn’t even let smacking his stand light off at the Concertmaster phase him. Did I mention that he was expressive? Veeeeeeerrrryyyyy expressive. My fearless leader and I could imagine that Mozart would have conducted very similarly to him, which did add quite a lot to our viewing pleasure. I’m only sad that I don’t have several sets of eyes so that I could have watched him throughout the opera as well as the action on stage.

And boy, was there some action on stage, let me tell you.

They definitely played on the Opera Buffa aspects of the piece – there was a certain amount of Ham Acting going on. But it was never too much. They played with that line (between hilarious and tedious) and never crossed it. There was a freshness to the performance that maintained its buoyancy throughout the show. No miscasting either – the stars were definitely suited to their roles.

The sopranos were effervescent, in this soprano-heavy opera. Carla Hutanen as Zerlina, Peggy Kriha Dye as Donna Elvira, and Meghan Lindsay as Donna Anna were all superb. The different colours of their voices suited them particularly well to their respective parts and they are all fabulous singers. Donna Elvira was my favourite, but then I’ve enjoyed Dye’s singing for several seasons of Opera Atelier productions now, and she always delivers the goods. And then some.

On to the basses: Leporello, played by Vasil Garvanliev (who, oddly enough, I have actually sung with. If briefly – he was a member of my Sunday choir for a few months, before he got all famous and stuff) was both buffoonish and endearing. And damn, but he can sing. He is also able to act with his singing voice, which isn’t something everyone can do well. Opera Atelier mainstay Curtis Sullivan (playing both Masetto and the Commendatore) was great as usual. Though, to be frank, he’s got a better baritone range than bass range and for some reason he keeps getting bass-y parts. He can sing the lowest notes, he just doesn’t have the same power on them. Though this was less evident in this performance than in his turn as Sarastro a few years ago (Sarastro’s solos are one of my favourite things, ever, so I must admit to some disappointment there. . .). And finally, Phillip Addis as Don Giovanni himself. Hoo Boy. I’d let him seduce me too. He has a beuatiful, supple bass voice – it just flows over you like silk and cashmere and some smooth alcohol that i can’t think of right now. I definitely came close to jumping out of my seat to jump into his arms. . .

The cast is intentionally young and fresh which adds a believability to the insanity of the story-line: only young people are that dumb about stuff. Also, the chorus and dancers were great. Not to mention the tight pants on the men – Opera Atelier is definitely known for their busts and bulges and this performance was no exception.

And, in the tradition of saving the best for last, the tenor. You thought I’d forgotten about Don Ottavio, didn’t you?! Well, how could I with Lawrence Wiliford playing the part?? I’d seen him previously as Damon in the Opera Atelier production of Acis and Galatea last season. And, forgive me basses (you are my one and only true love, never fear), but holy hells can this man sing. Don Ottavio’s solo brought me to tears. Wiliford, in contrast with the majority of opera singers, has very little vibrato, and sings with a pure tone. And what a pure tone. He also has incredible power and supreme control over his voice that is simply a treat to hear. This guy could sing the highway code at me and I’d swoon. I’m not kidding.

All in all, I’m going to have to say that Opera Aetlier’s Don Giovanni is a masterful production that marries beauty for the eyes and beauty for the ears in one sumptuous spectacle that is not to be missed.

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Now for some life stuffs. . .

I can’t wait for work to be done so I can go for a lovely swim. I might be having some sinus troubles that are spreading to my ear canals, but hopefully the Otrivin will offset the water in the ears. I should really invest in some ear plugs for swimming, what with my being prone to ear infections and all . . . But regardless, I’m going to love my swim – it’s been a little bit of an indulgent week so far – Hallowe’en, opera and a lovely meal out, no exercise. . . – that I really need to get back on that horse.

Though, I did do a little hike yesterday afternoon, so my week isn’t a total loss exercise-wise. I had an appointment with my ophthalmologist yesterday for a routine check up. Well, I was supposed to have my check-up, but a lateitude of buses made that unpossible. So I’m going again next week, and this time before work, so I won’t have to deal with afternoon rush hour that somehow starts at 2?? When did that happen??? Well, anyway, I walked home from there – From Weston and Eglinton to Dundas and Islington. If you know that part of the city, you’ll know it’s a bit of a hike – about one and a half hours or so, walking pretty fast. I listened to the Sixteen’s recording of the Missa Papae Marcelli, so I didn’t really notice the time. At all.

And then, after a very satisfying nap (thanks Otrivin!) we sang some beautiful music for the Samhain/All Souls service – which went swimmingly 😀  And there was booze and food after the service (with stupidly tastsy pierogies. mmmmmm pierogies. . .).

To wrap up, I’m just going to let you know, Dear Internet, that my posts will become rather more infrequent in the next little while, as my plate, it is full – I’m almost finished my Christmas shopping, but I’m waiting for my yarn to arrive to start the immensely long to knit list (it’s like externally-enforced procrastination, I prefer internally-enforced myself. . .), I have two belated X-mas present dinners to plan and execute, music to learn for Wednesdays as well as a Carol Concert I’m doing with some friends, baking, preparing a TARDIS cake for a friend’s Dr. Who Indoctrination Marathon this weekend, a cake and a tasty present to bake for my dad’s birthday, more baking, buttloads of knitting, etc. ad infinitum. Not to mention working full time and being desirous of exercising regularly (to offset the extreme amount of eating that will be happening in the next couple of months. . .). I’m tired just thinking about it. . .

Well, I’m really looking forward to the recipe I’m going to be trying out for the TARDIS cake! That’s going to be fun 😉

I hope your holiday-season lead up isn’t super stressful, Dear Internet. I know I’m only doing this to myself, but it isn’t Christmas without several nervous breakdowns, I always say.

p.s. There will be a separate post of some photos regarding Hallowe’en coming your way soonish. . . so stay tuned!!

Oh crap, it’s been almost a month. . .

Ummmm. . . Oooops

My only excuse is this pile of excuses. . . 1. I went to PEI; 2. I had several job interviews; 3. I (with a friend) baked and decorated a three-tier cake for a friend’s bachelorette party; 4. I went to a bachelorette party; 5. I suddenly became all employed; 6. I made a party dress (with full lining) to wear for my friend’s wedding; 7. I went to Huntsville for a long weekend to celebrate said wedding; 8. I decided that sleeping was a good idea; 9. I had to take over for our fearless leader on the Wednesday night services I sing (including music selection, conducting, and knowing what the fuck is going on) for the last three weeks.

For some reason I was a bit preoccupied. I hope you’ll forgive me, Dear Internet.

I’m actually here with a tiny rant about nail polish – and not the hundreds of posts I’m intending to write in the near(ish) future. . .

Anyroad – Reasons Nail Polish On My Fingernails Is Annoying To Me:
(in no particular order)
1. My OCD is partly focussed on my fingernails, so polish just feels odd and distracting. So I inevitably end up picking it off within a few days of applying it. My record is a week after application. My other record is a few hours after application. . .

2. It never lasts very long on my fingers (certainly nowhere near as long as on my toenails), leading to excessive reapplication so as to not appear (too) unkempt. Which makes Lazy-Katie angry.

3. It never looks really good when I do it myself and Cheap-Katie is too cheap (and lazy, see above) to get it done professionally with any regularity.

4. Again, re my OCD, I hate letting my nails grow very long. And by “very long” I mean about 1-2 mm of length beyond the quick. This leads to insane trimmage urges. Which does not go very well with polished nails. For some reason.

5. Even though I love colour (to the point of insanity. And beyond), I’m apparently super-conservative about putting funky colours on my fingernails. I have a tattoo, but using blue polish feels weird to me. Don’t get me wrong, I like reds and pinks (occasionally purples, if I’m getting super-adventurous), but I find my choices kinda boring after a while. Not that that changes anything.

Ok. Apparently this rant isn’t so much about how I dislike nail polish on my fingernails as it’s a rant about how nutbar I am. Hmmmm. Oh well. . .

Here’s a photo of my most recent manicure (from the wedding):

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Not bad for four days later. It won’t last much longer, I can feel it.

But anyway, stay tuned for new posts coming up – more Newfoundland, PEI photos, some baking, my friend’s wedding weekend (and my pretty dress!!) – are all coming your way! Sometime this century. . .

I’ve been remiss

Oh, Dear Internet, where does the time go?
I was going to post yesterday, I had it all planned, but then I decided to take a quick nap first. And woke up at midnight.
In addition to having missed my intended blogging, I also missed a friend’s band that was playing in town. Sucksorious. Bad friend alert. . .
On a completely random note, I did get around to doing my fingernails, a couple of nights ago.
not so awesome . . .
Toes are easy – you make a big mess, and then fix it in the shower the next day. Fingernails are stupidly difficult. Especially if you suddenly have to go to the washroom while the polish is drying. . . Wheee. In a few minutes, I will be (for the third time) attempting to fix this mess. At least it’s only three nails this time. I think it’s due to the fact that you never don’t need to be using your hands for something. I’m a genius, right? 
 
Sigh.
And now, for something completely different! Random fact about me, your humble blogger: I eat my apples kinda funny. I always, sometimes consciously and sometimes not, end up with a kind of sine wave in my apple. Look!
wheee! though, it might
be a cosine wave. . .
I never said I wasn’t an enormous nerd 🙂
And now for the more interesting part of this post – I have two (count them, two!) new bakings to share with you in the very near future. I need to go to bed now (because obviously something needs to be fixed in my circadian rhythm), but I’ll leave you with a little taste of what’s to come.
awwww 😦  sad not-quite-strawberries
That’s right – one of these recipes will include strawberries. Though, luckily, the companions of these guys were rather less pathetic.
Quarter teaspoon?? Hah!
And the second recipe uses rather more cinnamon than the original required. Cause I loves me some cinnamon (seriously – I have eaten some straight from the jar, and chewed a stick left over from hot cider. The boyfriend thinks this is crazy, but I don’t see why). In addition to the baked goods, I still need to upload my hike photos to share with you, so that’s three whole new posts coming your way, sometime in the near future! Awesome!!
If you’re paying attention (and what are the odds?), you’ll notice that the quality of the photos still isn’t so stellar. Partly from the fact that it’s hard to take pictures of things your doing while you’re doing them, and partly because camera phones aren’t too amazing. I might have my actual camera back, but with no cable, I can’t share any photos I took. So I opted for convenience over quality. Not that my photos will be much better when I start using the real camera. . .
I have a crazy-busy weekend lined up (yay long weekend!!), so I can’t guarantee exactly when these new posts will be emerging, but I hope to have them all up by the end of the weekend – especially once I’ve found my camera cable in the mire that is the boyfriend’s cave of an apartment. I hope you have a marvelous July long weekend, Dear Internet! I’m certainly looking forward to sleeping in (that is, getting up at 8 instead of 5:30. . . AM. . .), and maybe even having a nice nap in my hammock. If the weather co-operates.