love umbrella

The Dog Days of Summer

I see skies of blue

And clouds of white

The bright blessed day

And the dark sacred night

I had a truly excellent time last Thursday, Paul and I headed out to the Board Games cafe with three other couples we met off the internet, and we played Monkey, a card game an acquaintance of mine invented, and then tried Pandemic for the first time with a couple who had played it before, while the other two couples played Dominion. It was absolutely wonderful, and all of us couples enjoyed each other’s company, so we’ve decided to get together to play again, and created a private Facebook group to facilitate this.

We then headed out to a late-night show at the Fringe of Working, a musical based on a book of interviews of working class Americans. I had a number of thoughts about the musical and Paul and I have had several discussions about it.

My first memory, sadly, is just how uncomfortable the theatre seats were. Unfortunately my prodigious hips are getting me into a lot of really uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing situations. (I broke another chair when we went camping, though to be fair, it was an old folding camp chair and a screw sheared through a plastic piece that was only about 3mm thick, so it’s definitely not entirely my fault and is at least partly that such camp chairs are not designed to last a lifetime…) But that vague discomfort really was rather fitting with the musical about people’s day-to-day work.

It’s me and my machine

for the rest of the morning

The rest of the afternoon

And for the rest of my life

The actual musical had excellent performers, songs that spanned the full range of feelings that people have from work from the job satisfaction of a stonemason to the feeling of being trapped that a millworker in poor conditions had. It was kind of heartbreaking, actually. You can see a video of someone performing that song here, language warning. It’s a really eye-opening musical, highly recommended to those that like musicals, or expanding their awareness of the experiences of others and flexing that empathy muscle.

After fitfully sleeping that night, Friday was a day where I was either working or erranding the whole day and then after being super exhausted by the chores, I drove 6 hours to Saskatoon, for 3/4 of which I had a napping dog and husband. I played with the dog, did multiple loads of laundry and dishes and packing, prepped our spare room for a guest, got an oil change and gas, took the dog to the dog park and walked further than usual, did some digital work, and a few other things. That was the kickoff to a very full weekend. On Saturday morning I breakfasted with family, got a fantastic thrift shop deal on a double-sized thicker blue winter blanket for the spare room for $2 and a beautiful cathedral candle holder. That afternoon I relaxed and then went for supper and a walk to the very nifty Berry Barn, the Saskatoon tourist attraction which I don’t think I’ve ever visited. Saskatoon berries.

I thought you beat the inevitability of death to death

just a little bit

The biggest news in Canada this weekend was about The Tragically Hip final concert in Canada. While I feel terrible for anyone losing their livelihood and joy to cancer and my wishes are with Gord and his family and band, unfortunately I’ve always thought the Hip’s music was terrible, uninspired, and universally overrated by Canadians. I don’t hate much music, but theirs gets close. I hate their obvious lyrics that take one concept and beat it to death in song, and think their melodies are achingly bland, including the lyric posted above, though it’s now been made interesting through irony.

As a consequence, it’s super awkward when everyone around you is having this big moment celebrating something that you don’t care about - between the Hip concert and the Olympics it’s been quite the month for that. Though I really appreciated the clip on Last Week Tonight where John Oliver lambastes someone for talking about the Olympics being about human equality, seeing as the entire thing is a competition about officially choosing who is the better person based on their country and whether they beat their peers by a fraction of a second. There’s also the enormous waste of money and resources that every Olympics brings. The abandoned structures, the ruined careers of the not-quite good enough.

So I’ve been feeling a bit left out of world events lately, and that’s actually fine by me. I was listening to a podcast from Revisionist History about the concept of action threshold - how easy it is for some people to do things that are untried or unpopular vs another person trying something when there is ample evidence that it is tried, tested, and true.

I'm locked and loaded

Completely focused,

my mind is open

Sunday we went to church, ate brunch with Sarah and Andrew, and then Paul enjoyed some time with them while I went out to shoot two family sessions, which though immensely fun with many cute children, was a bit more tiring than usual due to lack of sleep, high heat, and a few seriously determined mosquitos.

Today I had 5 appointments scheduled, all of which have potential for difficult conversations, and while some have been moved or cancelled and others went well despite difficulty, I’m glad that I seem to usually feel pretty well the day immediately after one or two big days - tomorrow I plan to do as little as possible and I’ll probably feel like a train wreck.

Quite a bit of culling and editing to do, and tonight I have a consulting appointment. All in all, lots going on, but I’m pretty satisfied with life.

We’ve been having some AirBnB guests and we have one right now, and he brought an adorable Boston Terrier named Jack that thinks that fetch is the spice of life. What’s awesome is that he’s actually faster than Murphy when running very short distances, and Murphy is totally flummoxed that a tiny dog has him beat - it’s hilarious. On that note, I’m out.