Friday, May 29, 2009

We did it!

We sold the house!

We held an open house last Sunday afternoon and a woman and her daughters came to view the property. Very shortly after the open house closed, she made an offer. We countered, and she accepted the counter. We have been waiting this week for her husband to come and see the property and to get the inspection done, both of which took place successfully this morning.

Great relief, all around.

They will take possession of the house in the middle of July, so WH and I have to hit the ground running to find the new place. Tomorrow will be the marathon house viewing day, and then WH is away for a week for an examining stint.

It's a good day!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Quick Update

Still here, very busy, offer pending on the house...

How are y'all?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Five Reasons

Why So You Think You Can Dance is a better show than American Idol

1) Quality of Contestants: I remain convinced that there are more better dancers out there than there are singers. SYTYCD and it's sister show, SYTYCD Canada, have demonstrated simply astonishing depth.

Which leads neatly into #2...

2) We get to see that depth. I get irritated by American Idol's tendency to show nothing but hideous auditions and to skim over tiny snippets of the good ones. While we're certainly not spared the awful on SYTYCD, it always feels to me like more time is spent showing really wonderful auditions.

3) Variety. I don't believe that American Idol is particularly interested in diversity of style, despite "theme" weeks. After all, contestants are asked to take specific kinds of music and "make them their own." On the other hand, SYTYCD requires that successful competitors be strong in a variety of kinds of dance from hip-hop to ballroom to contemporary to Bollywood. This makes for more interestingly diverse television, greater growth for the contestants, and a strong sense that the competition is immensely difficult. The addition of new styles each season shows that SYTYCD producers are invested in the show growing alongside dance culture.

4) Judges. The American Idol judges reached a new level of both annoying and useless this season. Fourth judge Kara added absolutely nothing to the show except a ridiculous tendency to cause the show to run long. Feedback was often contradictory, obtuse, confusing and manipulative. While the SYTYCD judges certainly do not lack personality quirks, they are consistently more accurate, more detailed, more profound and more constructive. The addition of a new guest judge from a different dance background each week reflects the show's emphasis on diversity. And yes, Mary is weird and possibly drunk and she dresses funny. But she knows her stuff and it shows.

5) And finally... Cat Deeley. Genuine, funny, loving, exciting, both gorgeous and adorable, slightly geeky, gentle, involved and never, ever condescending. Best. Host. Ever.

Bonus Reason: Group numbers that are actually good.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Five: Vacations!

From Mary Beth at the Revgals!

1) What did your family do for vacations when you were a child? Or did you have stay-cations at home?

My strongest memory of vacations as a child are a number of driving trips that were taken across Canada to visit family in Ontario. It's a tradition that I sincerely hope to pass on to my own children. We live in such a beautiful country, and you never really get a chance to see it the way you do from the long highway.

2) Tell us about your favorite vacation ever:

I have two. To celebrate our first anniversary, WH and I travelled to San Francisco and Sonoma. In Sonoma, we took a four day walking and wine-tasting tour of the valley. It was fantastic!

In 2005, my mother and eldest brother spent a few weeks in Italy. EB is an archaeologist with specialization in ancient Rome, so we had a built-in guide and historian on the trip. Italy is amazing. I have never eaten so much good pasta, pizza and ice cream in my life.

3) What do you do for a one-day or afternoon there a place nearby that you escape to on a Saturday afternoon/other day off?

If we're looking for a one-day getaway, we're most likely to find a golf course and play 18 holes. I think we're developing a real love of hiking though, so the future will see us doing more of that!!

4) What's your best recommendation for a full-on vacation near you...what would you suggest to someone coming to your area? (Near - may be defined any way you wish!)

I think that if you're coming to Prairie Province, you can't not go to the Rocky Mountains. Skiing in the winter, camping and hiking in the summer, incredible breath-taking views all year around.

5) What's your DREAM VACATION?

I really hope to do more wine-touring in my life, similar to what we did in California. I would love to tour some wineries in South America and Australia, to say nothing of Europe. I think it would be fantastic to pair some of that touring with opportunities to see some great concerts in famous places.

And of course, there is my dream Baseball Tour...

So many vacations, so little time!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Meet 'n' Greet

The RevGals are interviewing!

1. Where do you blog?

Well, right here at I am Chorus for day to day living, and at Observed by Watching for sports-related musing!

2. What are your favorite non-revgal blog pal blogs?

Oh, so very many to choose from. Too many to list!

3. What gives you joy?

WH, good food, good wine, baseball, choral music.

4. What is your favorite sound?

Baby Cat has never lost her little kitten mew even though she is now almost three years old. It sort of sounds like she's talking to herself. Adorable and hilarious.

5. What do you hope to hear once you enter the pearly gates?

The wonderful sound of an old hammond organ revving up Take Me Out to the Ballgame.

6. You have up to 15 words, what would you put on your tombstone?

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word.

7. Write the first sentence of your own great American Canadian novel.

The smell of peanuts and beer overwhelmed her in the most comforting of ways.

8. What color do you prefer your pen?

I'm partial to my orange pen.

9. What magazines do you subscribe too?

Tidings (a wine magazine) and Choral Journal

10. What is something you want to achieve in this decade?

But this decade is so close to over! I'll say sell our house, which we're hoping to do very soon!

11. Why are you cool?

Because despite a childhood in which my classmates routinely told me how un-cool I was, I still came out a pretty confident and happy person.

12. What is one of your favorite memories?

Not that I'm biased, but I think that my wedding day was pretty amazing, and I'll remember it fondly forever.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

On American Idol

In honor of the final week in this season's American Idol run, and my delight in America's selection of Kris and Adam (go Glambert!) as the finalists, I had to post a link to one of my favourite videos.

To set the stage, this video was taken during the final results night last season. David Cook and David Archuleta were the finalists. The former, a hard-edged rocker whose performance of Michael Jackson's Billy-Jean may go down as one of the greatest in Idol history, and the latter a doe-eyed cutie-pie whose baby-face made him look all of 14 years old.

The girls in the video are David Archuleta fans. Watch and Enjoy.


On another Idol-related note, I just wanted to reinforce that I think that Adam Lambert is the most exciting contestant to come out of the show ever and he is the sole reason I've kept watching this long. Usually, the performance shows bore me and I tune out. Not this season! I have faithfully PVR-d every episode in order to see what the glam rocker was going to do next. I have loved him ever since he made Randy Travis uncomfortable during country music week.

Both vocally and in entertainment value, he is in a league of his own, drawing comparisons to the likes of Steven Tyler, Axel Rose, Mick Jagger and the formerly incomparable Freddie Mercury.

He's gonna be a star, that one.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Oh CNN...

From CNN, my comments in blue.

(CNN) -- British model and television personality Katie Price, also known as Jordan, and her singer husband, Peter Andre, are to separate, according to a statement released Monday.

Quite honestly, I have never heard of either of these people. I stumbled on this article by accident, and found enough bizarre things in it to want to share.

Peter Andre and Katie Price, who ran the London Marathon last month, are separating.

Question: Does the fact that Katie Price ran the London Marathon last month have anything to do with the separation? I mean, if the sentence read, "Peter and Katie, who cheats on her husband regularly, are separating," I would understand the subordinate clause, but otherwise...

The couple have been married for four-and-a-half years and found romance on the reality show "I'm A Celebrity... Get me Out of Here!, " which was filmed in the Australian jungle.

I'm sorry, they met where? I don't even know what to say. Read that sentence aloud to yourself and try not to laugh at the Australian jungle part. I dare you.

The statement said: "Peter Andre and Katie Price are separating after four-and-a-half years of marriage," the British Press Association reported.

"They have both requested that the media respect their families' privacy at this difficult time."

Only last month the couple, whose reality TV show of their life features on British television, said they were trying for another child.

Ok, I'm sorry, but these people have been on both a Survivor-esque reality show AND a reality show about their lives, and NOW THEY'RE ASKING THE MEDIA TO "RESPECT" THEIR PRIVACY?? Good luck with that.

They have two children together, son Junior, three, and one-year-old daughter Princess TiƔamii.

I'm not sure what's weirder: their daughter's name, or the fact that her brother is simply named "Junior."

Price has a six-year-old son Harvey, by footballer Dwight Yorke, who is disabled.

Who's disabled, Harvey or Dwight Yorke?

And, "These are my children, Harvey, Junior and Princess Tiaamii?

Price first made her name as an English page 3 girl, but has since gone on to become a television star, author and clothes designer. She also competes in show jumping events and has her own stable of horses.

So we have: Model, Television Personality, Marathon Runner, English page 3 girl (I don't know what this is), Television STAR, Author, Clothes Designer, Show Jumper and Stable Owner. Naturally.

Andre, an Australian, came to prominence in 1996 with his international hit "Mysterious Girl."

If this was, indeed, an "international hit," it skipped Canada.

Monday, Monday

Friday, May 8, 2009

Updates, various...

  • I left my entire shoulder bag at home this morning. No wallet, no iPod, no phone, no nothing. I left the house with my lunch and my coffee. At least I have my priorities straight.
  • It's Friday, and that's nice. The sun is shining, which is also nice.
  • The house is listed and we are spreading the word. It's a lovely little house and I hope we find someone who loves her as much as we do soon.
  • Looking for a new house is much more fun than trying to sell the old house.
  • Singing with the local orchestra this weekend in a performance of Holst's Planets. The choral part consists of 16 bars of "aahing" from backstage in the final movement ("Neptune"). The orchestra is performing the work while projecting NASA images of the planets on a huge screen over the musicans. I found that my response to the images was actually pretty emotional, and I'm not sure why. Neat stuff.
And that's about it from here...

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Weekend

... was long, and trying.
  • WH and I are embroiled in a highly aggravating situation with our accountant over our taxes. High aggravating, and also highly expensive. Sparing you all the details, this situation is the source of significant worry and tension, and has some fairly major financial implications both now and in the year to come.
  • We were this close (you'll have to imagine me holding up my thumb and forefinger about half an inch apart) to getting a pre-list offer on our house this weekend, an offer that would have allowed us to save the commission for our real estate agent. But they phoned yesterday and backed out. They did so for entirely legitimate and understandable reasons, but still, it was disappointing.
Those are the majors and they, coupled with a few other little things, made for a difficult weekend. My reaction to these kinds of things is a strong desire to eat my body weight in jelly beans, which probably isn't helpful.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Warning! Possible TMI ahead...

There are references in this blog post to feminine hygiene. The post is not ABOUT feminine hygiene though... it's really just a funny story about my cat.

Baby cat likes to play with tampons. So much so, in fact, that she will retrieve them from inside the box in the bathroom cupboard or from my bag or from my purse and then take them away downstairs and wrestle with them. One time, after a trip, I left my suitcase open in the basement while I unpacked and for WEEKS afterwards I found tampons all over the house displaying signs of having been beaten into submission by the cat.

There is nothing funnier in the whole world than the sight of Baby Cat running through the living room with a tampon in her mouth.

The problem is that we don't always know that she's done it.

A mere 15 minutes before people stopped by on Wednesday night to look at the house, I found a mangled tampon on the floor on the basement. Baby Cat was close by, looking innocent.