Gravity is workin' against me
Oh, and gravity wants to bring me down...
Just keep me where the light is
Sunday is my one year anniversary with my husband - and so far marriage has been a challenge and a great thing for both of us. We were just talking today about the ways we feel like we have grown - in stability, in patience, and in love. It was a lovely conversation. We are both falling ever more deeply in love. We are more tolerant of each other's failings and quirks than ever, and more loving of each other's cutenesses. Ironically, it looks like we might be spending our actual anniversary day apart, a combination of the fact that I am working that weekend (I have both a wedding and an engagement session) and Paul's been invited to go to the cabin with his friend Andrew and I encouraged him to take the opportunity to go. But it's Paul's turn to plan special things this year, and he's got a bunch of plans that we're going to do one day at a time next week. I think we've technically already started anniversary celebrations - and when I finally found a sundress I liked today (I started looking in April and hadn't even found one I liked until today) and texted Paul to ask if it was something I could buy in good conscience considering our low funds for the summer, Paul sent me a special text to tell me to buy it as his anniversary gift. I love it - it's black and has hot pink flowers on it and it makes my curves look good! I wanted a dress that would make me look alright for family photos for Rachel's wedding, and I think this is it! Now to Sears with Paul to find him something new for work and maybe for the wedding too.
We watched Kung Fu Panda 2 tonight in 3D and we both remembered just how much we hate movies in 3D, it's so hard to keep track of what's going on. We had excellent seats, though. And the second movie was nearly as good as the first! We laughed so much, I'm pretty sure my tummy hurts from laughing. We really loved Thor a few weeks ago, and The Green Hornet was just hilarious. There's so many movies coming out this summer that we want to see - all the superheroes, and a few others besides.
I've been discovering new and interesting places in Edmonton. My favourites recently include a little shop called The Remedy near here which sells East Indian food and has the best mango lassi I've ever tasted. The best part? It's one of the only places around here that is open late. Next door is a movie rental place that's not one of the big two (Rogers and Blockbuster) but seems to have a monopoly on awesome movies in Edmonton. The selection is ridiculous and Paul and I plan to indulge our love of old historical movies and sci fi classics. Next door on the other side of the Remedy? A Dominoes pizza with 50% off for students, making already cheap pizza really, really cheap. I discovered that the bike route to the library is downhill nearly all the way back. Our library here is the Strathcona branch, the oldest in Edmonton, a brick castle of sorts that makes me feel all cozy whenever I go through the door. I adore the pathways and trails near here to the river, the older houses which mostly feature a proper front porch, the Emily Murphy Park, where seeing a muskrat or a beaver is a general matter of course, not to mention nifty forest floor things like ferns and fallen logs. I'll be out biking with a camera around my neck one of these days. Edmonton has few late night food places unfortunately, but I've discovered a 24 hour A&W now at least. I can't wait to get a proper chance to explore Whyte Ave. When my friend Michael was here a few weeks ago with his girlfriend on his way to Saskatoon, we took them to the Farmer's Market - a glorious place indeed. Paul and I intend to buy a good deal of produce there, from beets and parsnips (Paul and I are fans of root vegetables) to bison and lamb meat and everything else you can imagine from flavoured honey to woodcarvings and amazing handmade birdhouses - I'd love to have one of that guy's birdhouses someday, they are definitely art. So it's a new haven, and only about eight blocks away. So far I've found everything from consignment stores to candy stores and I'm starting to compile a great deal of reasons why this city is awesome. And don't forget the Bon Ton bakery, where, if you're lucky, you might hear a portly Italian gentleman singing opera when you come in - and the bread is second to none. I have an awesome massage therapist and Chiropractor, and Paul is very pleased with his dentist (soon to be mine as well, if I ever make the call) as well - and even if they're services, they're part of the landscape here (and some of the only people I ever get to talk with outside of business calls.)
There's a ton of festivals and summer stuff going on here. Paul and I might even end up at the Ex together for partial price since he'll probably be there for free with the disabled little girl he's working with on their special half-day and I can join him after his shift ends. There's a bunch of great ideas for things to do here! SUMMER IS AWESOME!
As for the business, it consumes me. I finally made the decision to upgrade to two camera bodies - my first D300 will ever be my happy place, and it has served me very well, but it is now my emergency backup - I purchased a D7000 - the logical upgrade, and a camera that is raved about by Nikonphiles everywhere. So far I've learned three or four things on it that I didn't know before, and at least two of those my old camera had capability for as well. But no matter. I am now primarily a prime lens shooter, having recieved just this morning my new-to-me 24mm wide angle, a light and small lens that is the coolest primarily because it captures nearly the same field of vision as a person sees, making it an ideal portrait and wedding lens. Now that I have a second lens, I'm going to let Paul indulge his curiosity and attempt some second-shooting. It can be playing for now, but the man has a good eye and might become more than just my carrying-lackey. He's hoping to learn more about cameras in general this summer. As am I, for that matter - I have a Calgary lighting workshop next weekend with the photographer who is currently ranked #7 in the world, which I am excited about, and next month is Image Explorations. I'm learning a great deal, upgrading my equipment so it doesn't stand in my way, and keeping a focus on the idea that despite the new equipment it's the 12 inches behind the lens that matters most (Says Ansel Adams.) I have also upgraded the boudoir website and am on my way to publicly revealing a new investment - something that was big enough that it prompted me to seek (and find) investors.
BOOKSI have been reading A LOT. I have a lot of extra time on my hands now that I'm self-employed and not in school learning anything. I am getting back into mysteries and classics. I have been reading David Pirie's imagined life of Conan Doyle, which is super creepy and pretty cool, and Laurie R. King's series, beginning with The Beekeeper's Apprentice, on Sherlock's retirement find, a woman with brains much like his own. I absolutely adore the Dresden series (next book out July 26th!! NOT SOON ENOUGH!) and I'm starting the Alvin Maker series - the longest Orson Scott Card novel series other than Ender. I'm just starting on book two. The storytelling character is really cool, and I like the concept of the Unmaker. It's interesting. Paul mostly reads comic books, but we just made a pile each of some serious reading - all of it on our Christianity bookshelf. Paul is currently reading The Shack, and we've already had some really interesting conversations about it. And I am hoping to start the Jewish Bible commentaries for a long term project to go with Augustine's Confessions and hopefully, by the end of the year, all of C.S. Lewis' classic theological treatises, and maybe some Chesterton.
I have also been watching lots of TV, from The Voice to snippets of old favourites like So You Think You Can Dance, and Dancing with the Stars in the reality circuit, to old shows like Battlestar Galactica, which can be really intense - so much so that even though Paul and I started watching it together, he kept turning it down so now I'm watching it on my own. Other shows that have made the A-list - Big Bang Theory, which, being about a brilliant physicist has some bearing on life with my husband - though he's far, far easier to live with than Sheldor. (Yes, I said Sheldor. Fans of the series will get the reference.) I confess that after years of not getting into Dr. Who, I am now fond of the sillyness and nifty creatures and the Doctor himself. There are days when a sonic screwdriver would be handy. I also watched some of Six Feet Under, Heroes, Glee, and I am fully up to date on How I Met Your Mother. It may seem like a lot of TV, but I usually have it on, sound-track style, while I'm working on housework or photoediting.
OTHER HOBBIESI have made my first tentative steps towards learning sign language. That project has been on hold for a few months, but is nevertheless on the backburner of only a few projects. (Usually I have an industrial sized stove, but I think I'm down to a normal stove plus a two-piece addition. The projects underway include:
Sign Language, Guitar, Crewel Embroidery (a large Rose Trellis piece that I sew on when Paul reads to me), Cultivating living things (fishtank and gardening), cooking, and learning housekeeping skills. Oh, and reading, but I never really count that as a hobby. It's always just been part of living to me...
I took a few guitar lessons a while back and learned a whole bunch, but I haven't picked it up in a few months and lost those callouses again. Need to do that, and soon.
MUSICDiscovered radio is better in Edmonton and we've been listening to Up 99.3 (Edmonton's Feel Good Station) which is far better and more varied than any of its competitors, and Shine 105.9, the Christian station here in Edmonton. I also heard about an AM talk radio with Christian stuff, but the "Bible Guy" I heard the first time I listened to it made me sick with his judgments of people and theology, some of which were downright ridiculous. Mostly, though, we still listen to the iPod, and I've been on a crusade for new music these past few months, turning up some already-famous artists to enjoy like the UK's Adele. My 2011 playlist is very, very mellow, except for good car music, like I Get Around by the Beach Boys and even better, Boston's More Than A Feeling. I discovered by reading the charts for the 70s that I actually like a good deal of music from that era. And speaking of music, I'm utterly addicted to the USA's version of the TV show The Voice, which is like Idol but ridiculously better. I heard more amazing voices in my first half hour of that show than I ever have on snippets of Idol that people assured me were actually good.
Just about a week ago I finally set up my fishtank again. I have three blue japanese swordtail guppies and an African dwarf frog. The frog is the COOLEST thing. He frogs about the tank, to and fro. I bought him partly because I thought it would be cool to have an underwater frog, and partly because I knew Paul would think it was even cooler, and he does. The only downside is that handling freeze-dried bloodworms is one of only several things in the world that make me squeamish. (I can't actually think of any others right now, but truth be told, they are pretty rare.) Otherwise, having a frog is definitely one of my best fishtank experiences. I think I have everything I need to keep all the fish happy and healthy - including the time to invest.
GARDENINGEver since my first time gardening for myself out at Emma Lake in 2008, I've been more of a green thumb. We have several dozen plants to testify to that, including a cutting from a Christmas cactus I got from my friend Helen that had its two year anniversary in my care not too long ago I believe. I'm not sure when I got it first, but it was just when Paul and I were very close friends but not yet dating. I have a hosta, a very long ivy and a Mother In Law Tongue I got from my Grandma, both of which are happy and healthy, and I am growing a wax ivy now as well. I like the trailing plants best. Our crowning accomplishment this year, however, is to be three boxes of red onions. Paul and I invested in a $3 bag of red onion bulbs and so far they are growing amazingly well - we've already used the onion greens in a very successful soup and baked potatoes. We should have 25 or more medium-sized onions to chow down on... whenever onions are full grown. The internet speaks: apparently when their tubular leaves droop a lot. Okay. So when they start dying they're ready. I can deal with that.
TODAYThings that happened today? I bought a dress, as I mentioned, went to the Chiropractor, and got my new lens from a Canada Post employee who was wowed at the view out our window. I also saw the CUTEST puppy at the pet store when I went to buy bloodworms. I am pretty sure he's a Jack Russell terrier, and I've always thought those puppies were the cutest puppies in existence. Usually the need for a camera doesn't overtake me for cute things, but this puppy stole my heart.
If I could've taken him home with me, Paul might have gotten a phonecall. But we're in a no-pets-or-children-allowed building and I'm a rules girl. Plus I LOVE my home and never really want to leave. And that might go for Edmonton too. But we're not for sure staying here forever. Just indefinitely.
Which is a problem, because the main thing I've been feeling, other than satisfaction with my home, excitement at exploring Edmonton, and pleasure at my growing business? Lonely. I'm lonely here. I miss friends and family and I'm having trouble making new friends. Sure, I'm getting to know some of Paul's classmates - they've actually accepted me wholeheartedly, which makes me really grateful, but I need to get out more, meet new people, get new connections. Maybe work will help with that. Maybe volunteering somewhere will - I've been looking into it but haven't found anything I feel suits me yet. Maybe finding a new church will help with that, once we find one. At least we've found two Catholic churches we really like - one with a priest that I loved instantly - he hugs all the kids during the offering, I mean, who wouldn't like that! The other seems to be pretty good all around. Both are churches Andrew and Sarah attend, but we haven't actually met up with them in church yet. I think Paul did once when he went without me. Still looking for a protestant church, too. I've got a few optioned, just need a weekend free to go. Which I won't have for at least two or three weeks.