Thursday, September 20, 2012


Seems like many of my close friends are turning 40 this year, so I'm getting the benefits of frequent celebrations. The first was Angelo, who hosted us at a great party in July with a real neighbourhood vibe, exactly reflecting where he's at in his life right now. Hands-down the best beer selection I've ever seen at any party, delicious food, perfect sunny weather, and a warm, friendly scene that anyone could melt into. I think we all felt honoured to be included, and Tannis and I had the added bonus of staying over and going for breakfast with the Eidses in the morning. Good times!


Plett could have partied in Manitoba, where it would have been harder for me and Myron to participate, so we were very happy to host him here for his 40th celebrations in August. Thanks to Heather for making that work, complete with making it a surprise. Highlights included an excellent session at Joey's that continued later in our backyard, an epic Dueck boating adventure through most of Saturday that turned into a BBQ at their place, and burgers on the way to airport on Sunday. A quick trip, but full of warmth and fun with an old friend.

We're celebrating Andrew's 40th in Vancouver next weekend, and Myron has a huge bash planned for November, so the fun will continue. I'm starting to stew on my own milestone birthday, which will sneak up on me soon enough.

Update: I think we celebrated Andrew's 40th in style, hitting Vancouver for a fun, quick trip. The Sylvia was a great place to land, Yaletown Brewpub was excellent, the symphony surprised us, and we even got to spend some time with other friends (Lorne and Andrew dropped in on Bill, while I connected with Angelo). Good times!

Update: They just keep coming! On the long weekend, Myron celebrated his 40th with dozens of friends up at his place -- a real bash with a great band, tons of food, and the shed done up in style. Even some friends from Manitoba came out, and Myron's folks too. We've gotten to know some of his friends from Penticton, so it's nice to connect with those people too.

More than anything, these events have made me so thankful for my close friendships -- I feel so lucky to have these excellent people in my life. I've also thought about how each of these celebrations reflected the personality and lifestyle of each birthday boy. Still trying to figure out what approach I'd like to take with mine in a couple of months.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September Sunshine

September is usually nice here, but I don't recall ever having such great weather this late. We keep thinking that the beach season is over, putting in huge sessions on what feels like "the last day of summer"...then finding that it just stays nice.

Update Oct.5, 2012: Well, it stayed warm right through until the end of September, and then we had an abrupt correction back to normal temps. However, the Thanksgiving forecast is still pretty great:

Sunday, September 02, 2012

reading listening watching

  • No Road Markings for Miles -- my mom collected and published our journals from the trip to Europe the two of us took together in 1993. My parts are occasionally painful to read, but it's a treasured keepsake and I've been enjoying picking it up these last few weeks.
  •  Souvenir of Canada 2 by Douglas Coupland -- On Canada Day, I poured myself a frosty brew, pulled the lounger into a comfy spot under the mountain ash, and settled in to enjoy this classic slice of Canadiana. Perfect.
  • brown-eyed-susans
  • Chuck Friesen was a guy from Rosenort who wrote some interesting things before he died of cancer last year. Based on his writing, he and I wouldn't share many beliefs, but for some reason I found this good reading to put things in perspective and be thankful for what we've got. I was interested in his take on the "mistakes" people make when visiting someone who is terminally ill, and in reading the push-back from some of the people who supported him through his last weeks and months.
  • Lakeland by Allan Casey -- If I tried to describe this book, it would sound dull, but it was anything but. I started with the chapters covering the lakes I knew best -- Okanagan and Lake of the Woods, Lake Winnipeg -- and just kept reading. I was fascinated by his take on the ice road on Lake Athabasca, the story of Grey Owl, and small-town Quebec culture...actually all of it was great. Beautifully written, highly recommended.

  • dandy
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking -- when I couldn't get this book from the library, I read all the other books they had on the topic of introversion. In some ways, I wish I had waited for this one, which was by far the best of the bunch. Very affirming, and it might even change the world if some extroverts would give it a shot.
  • With the girls, I've been reading Alex and the Ironic Gentleman, which I cannot recommend. On the other hand, we all adored The Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursu and promptly bought (!) the next two books in the series because the library won't have them for a while.

  • pine-sunset
  • Program or Be Programmed by Douglas Rushkoff -- I haven't been doing much reading about technology, but I enjoyed this. Some good cues to either unplug from passive use of the web, or get busy really creating stuff online.
  • What is a Print? -- gorgeous art book, practical and inspiring and awesome.
  • Princess Mononoke -- I watched it again one night while Tannis and the kids were in Calgary. Still my favourite animated film.

  • woodlot
  • The Hunger Games -- watched with Tannis, who is a fan of the books. Not the best movie, but entertaining enough, and made me want to read the series. 
  • Percy Jackson -- so, so bad. And we loved the books.
  • Ramsay Downholers -- I'm not really sure how to describe this pilot for a TV series about an old-timer's hockey team in Ontario. It was surprisingly compelling, if only because it so accurately depicts the scene I've encountered here as well. Quite funny, but very low-brow.
  • Local singer Nico Boesten made an excellent video talking about the song he wrote after his dad died. Powerful stuff.
  • I'm super excited to see Samsara -- the trailer looks incredible, maybe even better than Baraka
elegant dream-grasses cherries-laden sunflower-drops