Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Visit with my touring cousin

After class tonight I popped up to my sister's to visit and to meet my cousin, Fred May, who is cycling across Canada on the Scout Vélotour 2007. I met him tonight for the first time since I was three, I believe... maybe two... details are somewhat foggy here on my part.

Fred is staying with my sister for a few days on his way east, having, most recently, made his way through the Crowsnest Pass. His plan? To arrive in St. John's by August 9.

Ambitious, yes?


It makes my cycle-tour to the University and home again four times a week look rather... er... slack.

Want to know more? Here's a link to the
Scout Vélotour 2007 site where you can check out a
regional map of the tour and read up on Fred's blog. A key entry I enjoyed was this one, Conquer Calgary Hills.

From left to right...
Me, my sister, my brother-in-law, mom & dad and Fred.

We have another family gathering planned for Friday in Bragg Creek, so I will keep you posted on what I learn about cross-country cycling.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Water, water everywhere!

It's so damned fitting that I'm taking a poetry class right now.

The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner leaps to mind. About 10 minutes ago my tenant knocked on the door to inform me that the sewer main was backing up in the laundry room.


Sure enough, there's black spooge on the floor, but luckily she'd noticed it between loads of laundry, so very little water had made its way across the floor and into the back bedroom and furnace room.

Two years ago something similar happened, only with much more water involved. I had learned then that the City has a service whereby they come out and snake the sewer main for you, free of charge. They then send a camera down the line and video-tape the inside of the sewer pipe out to the just past the property line. The video is time- and date-stamped and kept on file.

I called the City 311 information line to report the backup. The crews apparently work until Midnight. The girl who took my call told me I should expect a call before Midnight if they cannot make it out before shift-end, in which case I am to call back after 7 AM to re-place the order.

Meanwhile, everything else is moving along just swimmingly. (Pun or no pun intended...) I've also noticed that I haven't been keeping you up to date with the goings-on around here, so I'll try to sneak a report in soon, I promise!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Still on the radar

I woke up to the fact that I haven't visited anyone in the blogosphere for ages. I haven't forgotten, just really super busy. English 354 started tonight, complete with the submission of the first assignment: A 1000-word essay on "What kind of reader of poetry am I?" Mine are somewhat random and rambly words, and as I type this, I recall that I simply forgot to title my submission.


So much for the template being fool-proof. MLA format? Over rated, I'm sure.

C'est la vie.

To all, I'll check in soon, I promise!


Thursday, May 10, 2007

I'll just roll out of here, thanks!

I had a wonderfully productive day today, and once business was done, I strolled across the parking lot, heading for Starbucks.

I then changed my mind.

No, I thought to myself, I'm going to Smitty's.

Glad I did, too. It seems Smitty's has improved. I received the friendliest service I've had in ages - anywhere. I'm tempted to write a letter. You see, in Calgary right now, as it has been for some time, "good help is hard to find", and I'm not just spouting cliches. The girl who sat me was near the end of her shift, but didn't at all seem rushed to leave. We chatted for a bit and I discovered she's in training to become a vet.

Perfect timing for such a conversation. I'd taken Bob for his now bi-daily IV injection of Ringer's. He was not happy - with me or the vet, and I'll have the scars to prove it.

(I love my cat, I love my cat, I love my cat...)

My server was just as attentive and friendly, but talked me into the ice cream which rolled me over the edge.

After my BLT on brown, fries with copious amounts of gravy and a double-scoop bowl of ice cream (which I didn't actually finish)it was almost painful to walk back to the van.

I think I'll go mow the lawn now.

Perhaps twice, for good measure.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

POST 250 - In high-gear and... not even out of the starting gate!

Did I say I had a couple weeks off from school?

I lied.

Today I received our first assignment.

Did I say my prof is a dear?

This may be true, but she could very well be a tyrant, at the same time.

The assignment is a 1000-word essay on what kind of poetry reader I think I am.

It's a tasty bit because it leaves the door open to a personal response, which is exactly what she's looking for. The assignment is worth 10% of our final grade, and must be handed in at the beginning of our first class. (I quote) "Failure to do so will make you ineligible for a passing grade in the course."

...Guess I'd better get writing!

Oh, and for those of you who read here faithfully, this is my 250th post. Something of a landmark, yes?

Saturday, May 05, 2007

A Mexican Hat Dance, pottery style

I've been looking forward to yesterday for a couple weeks now. We had a class party at the pottery studio to celebrate Cinco De Mayo. It was a BYOB and Pot Luck, however I was anything but organized enough to cook, so here are a few things I took along to contribute:

Some lights to help turn our wearhouse into something a little less wearhousy, and a speaker...

...some more lights - the pinjata is not mine, but more about this later...

...a small P.A., some Latin music discs and a light control desk...

...another speaker and a sombrero...
(See if you can spot the other sombrero in other photos! ...kinda like "where's Waldo"!)

...and a sun. This sun and the sombreros have successfully made it to numerous parties over the years, and survived to party on! You may even see someone else's son in the photo, but I doubt he's been to as many parties.

The main attraction. Dave, our instructor, is part of this celtic band. They decided to try their hand at Salsa, and did really rather well. They even dressed the part! (Can you spot the other sombrero?)

Some closeups of the band members...

...and I wish I could remember their names...

...but this girl goes to the Univeristy, and says she'll likely see me in passing as we frequent some of the same common areas like the food court and the rotunda of the Social Sciences building. Small world.

Here is our leader. Dave makes throwing pots look so very simple. (He's been at it since 1962.) Not only does he play with clay, he also plays and builds drums. Amazing. Behind him sits the kiln.

Some of my classmates.

The glazing area (see the vats of glaze under the tables) being transformed into our buffet table. I didn't get a photo of ALL the food once it arrived, but we were stuffed!

My attempt at an artistic shot.

Of course, the Mexican Hat Dance was a must... was this.

Some folks even hung out on the other side and played with clay.

After the party, I stopped by my friend R.'s to share some tequila. My bottle is on the counter to the right, as R. poses with another to be sampled.

Tonight I'm off to a friend's birthday party, enjoying the opportunity to be sociable before I disappear into the books in a week for the following six weeks.

Adiós para ahora.

About Me

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
English student, Pottery enthusiast, Yoga novice and lover of all people. I make friends over a warm handshake and a beverage. I discover, every day, someone willing to help me along my path.