Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ten Things I Loved This Week

As always, here's my list of things that made me happy this week!

1. I got a talking stuffed Dalek for my birthday last weekend. I put him on the fridge and every morning I push the button so he can verbally assault me. "You... are... an... enemy... of... the... Da-LEKS! YOU... MUST... BE... DESTROYED!!!"

2. For the second week of April, it's been cold, gloomy, rainy, and generally awful. (Even some snow and sleet depending on which part of the city you live in.) But despite this, yesterday I was outside grabbing something in the driveway to put into the garage and I heard a bird singing in the tree, and it was so persistent in its song I had to stop what I was doing and look up. And I realized despite it seeming otherwise, spring really isn't that far off.

3. If you don't have to go outside in it, listening to the pounding rain and thunder can be wonderful.

4. I finished Downton Abbey season 2 and the Christmas special. And I won't say what happened because I know a lot of people are just picking it up now, but despite season 2 being soapy and a little eye-rolling at times and clich├ęd and obvious, it's just so lovely. I'm totally addicted. Bring on season 3!

5. I got an email from my aunt this week post-birthday party where she told me how proud of me my grandparents would all be (they all died in 2005 and 2006). And she added that watching my two children grow up, she chalks up their free spirits to me. "It's like watching two flowers blossom into their own," she said. It was a lovely and unexpected email.

6. I won't go into too many details on this next one for the sake of my daughter, but on Monday a 15-minute drive turned into an hour-long one in London, Ontario's HORRIBLE city-wide construction. (I lived here when I was a teenager and always referred to it as the "city under construction" and sure enough, it's still happening... the entire city basically shuts down year after year while they make the city practically unnavigable). While my daughter and I were returning from her singing lesson, we ended up taking one detour that turned into a second, and a third, and a fourth. On the third one, she told me she really really really had to go to the bathroom. And we were stuck on a very long bridge and the traffic wasn't budging. And so... we made do with things we had in the car. And honestly, the two of us were laughing so hard over it I'm surprised we both didn't end up peeing ourselves. It was hilarious.

7. I read Marvel 1602, a Neil Gaiman graphic novel about Marvel superheroes being transplanted to the Elizabethan era. I was nervous when I started it, worrying that my lack of Marvel knowledge would be a hindrance, only to be pleasantly surprised that I got more of the references than I expected to! Turns out having to Wikipedia Marvel superheroes years ago to help my then three-year-old son identify some of the people on his massive poster was worth it. Let's hear it for retaining information!

8. My son and I spent two hours on Monday building a Lego firetruck, and MAN I'd forgotten how awesome Lego is. Our firetruck is quite remarkable. (I won't mention the expletives that flew out of my mouth when the cat knocked it off the table the next day.)

9. Speaking of cats, my old tabby cat, who will be 16 this year, has returned to something he hasn't done in years, and has gone back to being my evening lap cat. While my husband and I watch Downton, the cat jumps up on the couch (it takes a few tries before he successfully makes it up), gets up onto my lap, turns around once and curls up there, purring for the entire hour or so he's there. One night I called him "The Downton Tabby" and my husband laughed and laughed. Now that's what we call him every day.

10. On Wednesday night, with my dad and his wife, I went to see Buster Keaton's The General while a live band from Australia provided the soundtrack. I love that movie, and seeing it on the screen with live music was spectacular. I'm a huge silent movie buff, and it had been years since I saw that movie. If you haven't, check it out. It's as amazing to watch now as it was when I was a kid. Speaking of which, on Monday I happened to be out at my dad's and he flipped on Charlie Chaplin's The Circus a movie I somehow had never seen. My daughter was laughing and laughing through the entire film (she especially loved it whenever the mule chased the Tramp) and I was thrilled to see her enjoying something I'd loved so much as a kid. Now I'll have to find more for her.

And that was my week! How was yours?


Colleen/redeem147 said...

I saw a robin the other day - trying to figure out what the heck to do in the snow.

Was that the screening of The General at the Toronto Silent Film Festival? Because if it was, you were in the same room as my daughter. :)

Elizabeth said...

What a great list Nikki! Lovely email from your aunt!

Cairistiona60 said...

Marvel 1602 is an awesome series! I too was a bit worried about starting it because of a lack of Marvel hero knowledge or a knowledge that was 30 years old when I read it! I was amazed at how much I did remember and that made it even more fun. Oh and the act that Neil Gaiman has not written anything that I didn't love. I would read his shopping list and love it!!

Stacey said...

I didn't know you were a silent movie buff, yet another thing we have in common (separated at birth - I swear). The General is an amazing movie and there is nothing like seeing a silent movie with live music. What a great experience. Well done you!

I spent the week catching up with friends which was definitely the highlight! It was great.

Tom Speelman said...

I was a volunteer at Calvin College's Festival of Faith and Music, saw my favorite musician ever, Andrew Bird, live for the first time, met some wonderful writers--including a writer for Pitchfork and an editor for Christianity Today--and musicians, got a $2500 scholarship for next year, received some comics I had been waiting forever for in the mail, and got a poster from my favorite webcomic, all this week!

I'm glad you enjoyed Marvel 1602; that was the first thing of Gaiman's I ever read, when I was 8 years old, and that's what turned me into a lifelong fan of his. I cannot WAIT until his new book comes out this summer!

Forest City Fashionista said...

Those are pretty awesome things, especially seeing The General with a live soundtrack. London, Ontario (I live there) is the cultural wasteland that is always under construction. That's why we say there are two seasons here - Winter, and construction.

Dusk said...

Nice. Tings I love:
1. Realizing I'm almost done second year of college and will get 4 months off school.

2.Watching the most recent OUAT Song Crack video on Youtube. It is very hilarious. Keep all young fans well away from the computer when watching tough.

3. Giving the youngest in my family is first Nintendo DS as a gift. 3rd generation Nintendo player in the making!

4. Getting back into contact with someone I hadn't seen for 5 years.

5. Realizing Angel & Faith Vol 3 comes out at the end of the month. Seriously Nikki, it is a good series!

Joel said...

Not so sure about the cultural wasteland comment, but the construction can be annoying. But I live in Old North and thankfully don't have far to go to work - so no traffic for me!

This might help with the construction woes:

Nikki Stafford said...

Forest City Fashionista: Haha! I always used to say the thing about the seasons, too! :)

Joel: I think I have to agree that London is certainly not a cultural wasteland. There is so much to do here, from live theatre to artistic ventures all around the city (the lovely little artist's row just off Richmond), the vast number of comic book stores, the Aeolian Hall and the great music that comes through there. What I would say, though, is that London is typically not a city that supports the arts. When I lived here as a teenager and into my early 20s, I studied music. Music competitions and festivals were vastly underfunded and constantly threatening to disappear; conservatories couldn't stay afloat; audiences were less-than-capacity.

Going to see The General at the Aeolian was wonderful, but where they probably had chairs for 400 people, maybe 50 people showed up, scattered throughout the place. And that was after the local newspaper had done a write-up on it (which is where I found out about it).

I always worried that London would actually become a cultural wasteland, and it hasn't. What I do love about this city is despite the citizens never supporting the cultural arts in this city, the artists don't give up. They keep finding funding somewhere (probably from outside of London) and they keep trying. If the Aeolian shut down, there would be a public outcry, mostly from people who'd never been there but kept meaning to. I hope that a generation from now, the great artistic ventures in this city will have created a group of young adults that are keen to support the ventures in the city, and it will flourish. :)