motown music

Stop In The Name Of Blog

I've got sunshine on a cloudy day
When it's cold outside
I've got the month of May

It's almost impossible to believe that I only made it back from my Vegas and Edmonton trips about ten days ago. Talk about packing it in.

I've been scrambling to get everything ready for my epic birthday party this year - a Carnival. With over a dozen games, a caricature artist, popcorn and lemonade, and prizes galore, there was a lot to do in preparation! It's been really fun getting Paul to help me test out the games and make sure everything is in shape to go ahead with. I'm really glad that I'll have a few friends coming to help with setup on Saturday morning. For something I've been planning for two years and have spent a stupid amount of money at dollar stores for, it had better be fun and rewarding!

I have a few reflections on growing a year older, but none of them are really birthday specific. There's the fact that I am a lot further ahead in my career than I planned to be at this age, which is nothing to complain about really. There's thoughts of starting a family and ideas about the future - a house and a yard that may be small but will be well and truly ours. So there are plans, really, more than reflections. I think about the future a lot, but I'd say I think about the present quite a bit more in the end. There's enough to think about. And I'm not really feeling old yet, thank goodness. Even though in a few years I'll be hitting one of those big zero-ended landmarks, I'm in a better place than  I was last year, and I hope I'll be able to say the same every year for the rest of my life.

I've completed or nearly completed two out of three of the biggest projects that are weighing on me, and I have a couple more of the bigger scale projects on track to finish my the end of the week. So I feel like I can breathe a little. It should have been spread out more, but Paul took some time off work last week and after all my travels I was pretty spent, so I took a lot of it off with him. Pretty much my only accomplishment was getting a really good handle on everything I had to do after sorting through my Evernote life notes with a fine toothed comb on the plane trip on my way home from Edmonton. Keeping things from falling through the cracks is a big task sometimes, especially after my summer of madness.

So as I head into the less busy season of the year, it's time to pick up a thing or two that I couldn't manage during busy season. I'm spending quite a bit of time learning things these days. I've taken up guitar lessons again - which is very exciting, because slowly over the years I've grown to realize that my desire to learn how to play guitar has not gone away, it's always in the back of my mind. . I'm starting fresh with swing dancing as well, I'm taking a class with Paul starting tomorrow evening. It's a hobby I definitely intend on keeping up with as we move back to Edmonton, since the swing community there is really excellent. Finally, I'm working on some professional development courses to become accredited about a year from now as a Beloved photographer. It's a process that allows me to work with anyone and find a natural photogenic state using the imagination and connection and relationship - and it works really well. I'm excited to complete the initial training, which I'll be working on weekly until mid-January, culminating in a session that goes in for critique. I also have some new lighting training on the burner as well with some great classes on strobe lighting my parents bought for me for my birthday. So with guitar, swing, beloved, and lighting on my plate in addition to my work and social life, I'm a busy bee.

I hope there will be some teaching in my future as well. While I was in Edmonton I started designing a basic photography class for people who are interested in taking better photos of their family, or are hobby nature photographers who have an SLR camera but don't necessarily know much about it, or about the theory of photography. I'm hoping to have enough time to finish my course materials for around January/February and offer the class just before I take some time off for my sabbatical again this year. (Let me know if anyone is interested!)

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
It's not warm when she's away
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And she's always gone too long
Anytime she goes away

I feel like after having been away so much this photography season I'm kind of having to adjust to being married again. It's been hard on my marriage to be married to my job in another city… But with the plans to move back to Edmonton at the back of my mind I am comforted that things should be better. The last two days with Paul have been really wonderful actually. It might be all the playing we've been doing getting ready for the carnival, but we've been feeling really playful and it's nice to feel that kind of weightlessness that childlike moments bring to your life.

I really spend all my visiting time at once, so I think I can probably keep up with my friendships alright from a distance long term. Besides, a full half of my best friends are either living far away now or have plans to do so in the future, so I think Skype will be helping maintenance for a lot of my friendships for a long time to come. On Tuesday, once I determined that there was not an ounce of creative drive left in me to spend on what I really needed to do, I ended up going out erranding, including lunch with my Gran, and then spending time with a friend over Skype and late evening hot beverages and snacks at the lovely little hole-in-the-wall cocktail bar downtown called Flint that I really love, and then talk of fandoms and life's unfairness over a coffee table with another friend. What can I say. I friend binge sometimes. It feels good.

Baby, I need your lovin'
Got to have all your lovin'

You might notice that my lyrics have a certain bend towards Motown. Ever since seeing Human Nature live in Vegas I've been kind of obsessed over Motown. I never really thought about just how much of the music I loved flowed from that label. So I am tracking down every piece of motown music I can and burying myself in it, reveling in the complex ideas that rarely get dealt with in other forms of music. Where else can you find a song of happy desperation…

Stop in the name of love,
Before you break my heart
Think it over
Haven't I been good to you
Haven't I been sweet to you

In the same plane and with similar musicality as perfect bliss?

I've got so much honey
The bees envy me
I've got a sweeter song
Than the birds in the trees

I'm really feeling the music, and it's been great to find a new musical plane to dig into as I dig into a lot of big projects this week.

What else should I share about my last two weeks… Well, a week ago Paul and I went to the Auction as a date night, which was pretty awesome. We ended up coming home with a Wii and a Wii Fit, which I am excited to start using - we got a good deal on them, too. We bought a variety of grocery things, and I got something that made me really happy - $30 for a beautiful piece of hard shell carry-on luggage featuring the Colliseum and four wheels to replace my old Heys orange luggage which I had used until it was literally falling apart. I had a temporary purple luggage piece which I got from Wal-Mart, but this is definitely a better deal. So all in all I had a very happy auction date with Paul. I get such a thrill out of bidding and winning a bidding war - why would I ever spend that money gambling? =)

We had Murphy fixed last week, and he's back to his usual self these days. It's good to know he won't be siring any little Murphys by accident. We have obeyed Bob Barker's show-ending command! I'm also getting into more of a habit of playing with him and training him regularly. He's starting to learn to lie down. We bought him an epic coat which we wore to the inner ring of the dog park today (his first trip since the surgery) and Paul tells me he ran with it in more ways than one.

I'm looking forward to December, when I plan to start taking significant personal time and focusing on some tangential projects, like my plan for a Facebook Garage Sale to help me fund my guitar lessons and clean out all the unnecessary things around our place, my role with the Canada Photo Convention, and getting on the plan for a more well-rounded life, with workouts and relaxing tea and hot baths with nice smelling salts… Good things to come.