Tuesday, August 30, 2011

summer in a nutshell

I start my final **sniffle** year at NBCCD a week from tomorrow (I don't have class on Tuesdays), and once again it's time to restart the blog. Or at least redirect it towards school because I've written a lot this summer. I've written about everything, from the artists who inspire me (thank you for the inspiration) and the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001 (memories of 9/11), to the bombing/shooting in Norway (Norway), and the death of the Hon. Jack Layton (one of a kind), who was the MP for the Toronto-Danforth riding, leader of the NDP, and leader of the Opposition until his death from cancer on the twenty-second (he was sixty-one, by the way).

I watched and listened to Jack's state funeral on CBC.ca and CBC Radio One, respectively, this past Saturday, and it was beautiful: while it was a sad occasion, there was humour and happiness mixed in. Click here to listen to, or download, an audio podcast of it--I highly recommend it. I cried for almost three hours straight that afternoon: from the moment the police officers lifted Jack's flag-draped casket onto their shoulders and carried it out of Toronto's City Hall for the last time to the theme from the largo from Dvorak's ninth, played on bagpipes, until the end of the funeral (which was at Roy Thompson Hall). My eyes were stinging by the end, but it was worth it.

If you do listen to the podcast, check out Stephen Lewis' eulogy, which was not only about Jack, but also about social democracy. Naturally, the mainstream media was all over it (even CBC News, which said that the eulogy was "at times highly partisan"). "[As] if you could separate Jack's personality from his politics, and as if politics played no role in why people mobilized in such large numbers." (rabble.ca.) Commenters on the CBC website and Facebook page were also divided about the eulogy. Some said Lewis used the eulogy to advance his own political views, but when I listened to it I didn't get that feeling. Jack was one of those people who lived and breathed politics 24/7, and as a New Democrat his views were a lot further left than, say, Prime Minister Harper's (who's a hard-right Conservative), so I had no problems with the eulogy (check out this article on rabble.ca, which talks in detail about why the eulogy was appropriate).

During the week, people wrote messages and made drawings in chalk on the sidewalk and walls in front of and around Toronto's City Hall. The messages washed off in the rain once or twice, but the next day, people were back writing and drawing. Naturally, the content of the messages changed over the week, as people came to terms with his death (my own grief has lost a lot of it's bite, and now feels like the emotional equivalent of a dull ache).

Late last week, as a way to deal with Jack's death (he was, and is, one of those rare politicians who's referred to by their first name), I wrote him a letter, which I'll ritually "mail", probably tomorrow. Half of me also wants to publish it here, but the other half--the sadder half--says that no, it's too soon, and besides: the letter is very personal, so I think it should stay between me and Jack for a while.

Like many students this summer, I wasn't able to get a job, so I might apply to places in F'ton--we'll see what my workload at school is like.

However, I did manage to get some photography done: this summer I worked on a project that ended up turning into a poster (24"x36"), which I'll see about getting printed somewhere in Fredericton.

I also did a canvas for Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature Centre, Inc.'s second annual Guess Who? fundraiser. However, although I have a photo of my creation, I've decided to keep it under wraps and not post it here until after the auction, which will be on October first. I will say that unlike last year, this year's canvas was a bit of a struggle. Coming up with an idea was easy, but it was the question of how to go about representing that idea that had me pulling my hair out. However, I eventually got it done and delivered to the Centre.

This summer I went to three concerts: the PBSO, the Malloy Boys, and Stepping Out. I wasn't really into the second concert, but the PBSO and Stepping Out knocked my socks off. The PBSO played Beethoven's violin concerto (see celebrating ten years of owning my full-size violin for a video of the third movement) and Sibelius' first symphony, which was nothing short of AMAZING. I'll let the music speak for itself--here are my two favourite movements:

Number one:

Number three:

Stepping Out was a lot of fun, and it was the first concert since my last André Rieu concert (May 25th, 2006) where I got up and danced. The two singers were very funny, and traded jokes about the music all evening. And if you got up and danced, they really took notice--especially David Humphrey (one of the singers), and encouraged you. Since the concert was in the arena due to rain, I took advantage of the fact that I had a lot of space in which to move around, and threw in some jumps and pirouettes every now and then, to the delight of the audience and band. And during one of the pieces, I even got to dance with David--'nuff said. And then there was the time they did Hound Dog, and David ran through the audience, stopping to sing for a few of them--including me (for a couple seconds)!

In case you're looking at my Blogger profile pic and thinking, "her hair looks a lot shorter," you're right: it's now the shortest it's ever been, and it comes down to an inch or two below my ears.

This past weekend my family got hit with Tropical Storm Irene. Except for some of Mom's sunflowers coming down, a lawnful of leaves, a few inches of rain, fifty Km/h (thirty MPH)--and higher--gusts, no internet for most of Sunday, and the lights flickering a few times, we survived.

I'll be back to blogging full-force either next week or the week after that (when I've got the first week of school under my belt, and have something to talk about).

well, hello again!
thank you for the inspiration
photography geekdom--bring it on!
The end is nigh! ...or not.
proud of my country--but not of my government
memories of 9/11
all hail the crap camera!
my review of "HP7: Part 2"
celebrating ten years of owning my full-size violin
welcome to NBCCD--where awesome creative mischief happens
one of a kind

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