going places

Folkfest and Godspell

I am filled with the pleasure of life and accomplishment and the joy of the balance I've found in my life right now - even a bunch of miserable rainy days couldn't put me out of my humor, especially with all of the cool things I've seen.

This last weekend my man and I had the pleasure of attending Folkfest. There were a lot of really awesome things to see, and now that it's over, I'm going to take a few minutes to review the highlights. Quite a few of the pavillions we attended with Paul's sister Sarah, and there were a lot of awesome conversations on account of it.

First off, since I've now blogged publicly about my struggle with binge eating disorder for the Blogathon, I wanted to mention that this Folkfest was absolutely amazing - a sense of freedom about food that I've rarely had - I didn't eat until I felt sick this year, or watch the thin and pretty dancers with envy. This year I felt confident about everything, and that made Folkfest this year unique, as well as going with my man and enjoying all the same things together as we always have. Coincidentally, it's also the 30th anniversary of the festival. I believe I have only missed one Folkfest since my family started going. My boyfriend also loves Folkfest but didn't really have any family traditions surrounding it, so we adopted all my family traditions this year.

I'm just going to write these in alphabetical order from the website so I don't forget any - chronological order is rather unimportant anyway unless I mention it.

There was a really nifty fire-breathing man and very well played steel drum songs and really, really tasty food. Also some hip hop latin sort of dancing, which prompted Paul to comment that as he had learned from his sister's time as a dancer, if you get enough people together performing a movement which would look utterly ridiculous for one person, it looks cool.

Ate supper here the second day - fantastic Fejoada (pronounced fay-hoh-dah), which was a black bean paste of sorts with rice and lovely deep fried banana pastries. Also, colorful and Latin dancing. One of my favourite memories. Also I believe this was where the three of us invented the concept of a rainbow-colored dashund goat. (Useful for hand-worked wool, milk, and good company.) Sarah drew a picture! The goat had razor-sharp teeth and horns, too, so I guess it would make a good guard goat. Anyway, it's pretty much the most useful pet imaginable.

It was here that I realized again just how cheesy Chinese culture is. They really love cheesy. This was re-examined because they had a "traditional" soprano sing a very bubbly song that looked as though it was about flirting, and had a very cheesy 30th anniversary dance. I loved it all, of course, none of what I'm saying is a criticism. It's just so lighthearted.

We ate at the Francophone pavillion, discussed the French books on display (including how he had been fond of Asterix comics and I had been fond of Tintin, but neither of us had much interest in the other.) and watched a band called La Coulee - they were AMAZING with great Cajun/bluegrass music. Totally a fan.

It's a family tradition to begin here and eat schnitzel or pork on a bun. I had the Schnitzel, Paul had the pork (and a pretzel) and we enjoyed a few minutes of oom-pah music.

The only really notable thing about the Greek pavilion was waiting several minutes (with another couple) for fresh spanikopita. Paul: "This had better be the best spanikopita ever made." Their food, of course, was excellent.

We didn't make it to this one. Parking was atrocious and it was raining... Just not worthwhile.

This was our last stop on Friday and I got a stunningly detailed floral henna tattoo on the side of my left leg, a new design by one of the master artists that had done some henna for me before, but this was the first time I let someone get creative. I accidentally smudged it on the chair when I got up but they joked with me that nobody had ever smudged something so well that they could easily fix it, so I got the prize for best smudging. The henna turned out perfect and dark and beautiful and I am loving it. We also got free food because it was 11:30 and the pavilion was deserted - free food and free mango drinks, which were totally awesome. So India was a highlight for me this year as it is every year it seems.

We only got here for about 20 minutes, but I was watching the rhythms of the dancers and trying to figure out how they were signalled to move in certain ways and how much it was just the feeling of the music.

The only really exciting thing that happened at the Irish pavilion (other than a discussion of whether the song Danny Boy was immortal or just annoying - we think immortal, how about you?) was that Brennan came up behind us in full suit of armor and we had a classic Brennan moment when he invited us to watch the Vikings at the Norweigan pavillion. He addressed both of us by our full names and invited us to do cool stuff - both classic Brennan things to do. =)

As always, the Jewish pavilion was special to me, and it was the one we ended at this year. We listened through the Klezmer band, which we both love, and enjoyed Kaplan's jokes (the old guy who heads the Klezmer band is an amazing pianist and a "real card," as my Mom would say) and we ate Falafel (which Paul had never tried) and went downstairs to discuss things with the Rabbi. We actually had a really interesting discussion with him about the language and book order of various Torah books and there was some discussion of literal vs. non-literal interpretations. It was a great, great way to end Folkfest.

We did go to see Brennan and a crew of fighting men at the Norweigan pavilion, which was obviously awesome, and then we ate there. I always love the Rommegrot - a fantastic pudding that consists of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pudding. Seriously amazing. Also tried some unusual goat cheese and a syrupy fruit cocktail of sorts. Got to actually talk with Brennan, which is an honor and a privelege.

The Peruvian pavillion had some good entertainment and Latin dancing. I love Latin dancing. =)

Every year I look forward to watching the dancing at the Philipine pavillion because it's colorful and dangerous and sexy - men and women dancing quickly around bamboo rods that clack together to the beat. I absolutely love it every year. Said hello to my childhood doctor.

On one of the vendor tables I spot an orange-red spotted plush giraffe with a tartan and I of course pick it up in disbelief. Then Paul and I decided that the Loch Ness monster was the long-thought extinct aquatic giraffe. This was the highlight of Scotland for me. Also, the sign reffering to Haggis as "delectable."

There wasn't a whole lot to see or eat here when we went, but there were some kids doing traditional dances.

Karpaty Ukranian
We had basically a front row seat to the dancers. It was awesome! We also read through almost all of a giant display that talked about the History of Ukranian dance in Canada. It was really well put together from a design point of view too, which made me happy.

So in conclusion, Folkfest was amazing.

Paul decided to take me out for a surprise date day yesterday, and so he made us a picnic supper and we went down to the River Landing on the only sunny day in some time to take in a production of Godspell. It was hilariously funny. Excellent acting, excellent singing, and amazing jokes.

One of my favourite lines was when they quote the story of the Prodigal Son. "And the Father's heart went out to him. The part of the heart will be played by a small squeaky horn." And then the actor playing the Father throws a green squeaky horn across the stage to the actor playing the son. I laughed so hard I almost cried. There was a puppet show for the story of the Good Samaritan. "And they beat him up and left him for dead. HAH! Take that!" *puppet headbutts other puppet* "AND THAT!" *repeatedly* Then one of the puppets' hair came off...

Actually there were DOZENS of fantastic moments. Really hilarious! Highly recommended. It's on tonight and tomorrow too if you want to see it.

So that's the cool stuff I've been doing lately. I also finished my draft of the U of S Ballroom website. It needs a little bit of work yet, but it's finally up. I should take this opportunity to say that I am longing for ballroom to begin again next year. I finally get to move up to advanced, I finally have a permanent partner, I have good dance shoes, it's pretty much a great deal all around.

And the summer isn't even over yet!! =D
  • Current Music: Lots of snippets of ethnic songs and Godspell and MuteMath
Danny Boy, Loch Ness and Godspell...
I still say the muppet version of Danny Boy is the best! :)

"orange-red spotted plush giraffe with a tartan" I thought it was all a conspiracy! lol Reminds me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tARJHtXEZ8w

I wondered how you would take Godspell. It's really good for street theatre. Glad you caught it at River Landing. I'll have to see Jesus Christ Superstar some day.