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Last night was the beginning of HSBC’s Celebration of Light, which is not just a celebration with fireworks, but a fireworks competition, the biggest in the world.

The competition consists of four countries, the first time this has happened. Those competing are Italy, Mexico, China, and the Czech Republic. Suspiciously, Canada does not have any entry this year. Each show lasts approximately 25 minutes and is set to music.

After a two hour walk, which consisted of ice cream, therefore defeating the purpose of the walk, Heather and I went up to Orest’s patio to watch the fireworks. They were amazing. The sun had set, but there was still light hovering above the mountains, while the first stars were piercing the sky. There were dozens of sailboats in English Bay, surrounding the fireworks barge, and half a dozen planes were flying around. From Orest’s balcony we could see most of the fireworks, minus the lower ones, but who cares? The big ones are what matter!

As a kid, I lived for the last day of our town’s fair, as it promised fireworks. Sure it was only between 5 and 10 minutes of pyrotechnics, but those were the most magical minutes of the year, only surpassed by those surrounding Christmas. I love fireworks.

Each year 1.4 million people see the fireworks over the four nights of the festival. That’s 500,000 more people than the population of Saskatchewan. How’s that for perspective?

Last night reminded me how beautiful Vancouver is at night. That’s the time I find the city at its best. It’s peaceful, relaxed and it reminds me of home. That’s probably what I like most about it.

Yesterday was also the day when my diploma from the Academy arrived. Unfortunately it’s a little bent because they forgot to put “CERTIFICATE ENCLOSED. DO NOT FOLD,” on the outside. I won’t begin to go into the metaphors it creates, but suffice it to say that there are many.

With the certificate I received my final recital grade. A-. Fine with me. There were really good comments from my teacher that we’d already been over, some nice complimentary ones from my conductor, and then the comments from the female voice teacher at the school who only gets under my skin.

After one concert she told me that I always look angry on stage. I was told that all singers are to look beautiful as they sing, even when showing anger. Whatever. After my recital she told me that one of my shoulders was higher than the other – that I was tilted. She even had me stand acros the room from her at my reception to take a second look. Apparently I also take too long to collect my thoughts in between songs (I know once was when I was trying to think of the words for the next song, and at other times I was thinking “What the hell am I doing up here?”), and I was wrong in picking a white (in other words colorless) knee-length dress for an evening recital. Oh, and I don’t walk on to the stage gracefully. The dress I picked I specifically picked because I wanted it to feel like a less formal recital. I’ve worn huge gowns for recitals, and it feels inappropriate – for me. And walking on stage? Nobody’s ever said anything to me about it before. I really don’t care. As long as I don’t trip before getting to the piano, it’s all good.

Anyways, minus the woman’s comments, it was anti-climactic. I was done with that place the second I sang my last note. This just seals the deal. I also finished all of the theory requirements for the Royal Conservatory of Music, so I will now get my Piano Performance degree from them. Someday I might complete the voice degree, but I need some time away from music. Maybe I’ll try acting…

Tomorrow I work for a couple of hours and then it’s the weekend, which doesn’t mean that much to me as I’m really not working much right now and have more than enough time off. But Saturday night promises more fireworks. I’ll definitely be watching…

On Monday I went to McDonald’s. After reading “Fast Food Nation” I imposed a ban on any eating at the home of the Happy Meal. Well, that ban lasted 8 months and I have returned to consuming their Chicken McNuggets. On Monday I went to the McDonald’s on the corner of Broadway and Granville to grab some supper, as it was much too warm to try any cooking in our apartment. I walked in to find an African-American woman (or are they African-Canadian? Does anybody know?), who was either high on something or mentally unstable (likely a combination of both) surveying the people in line for spare change to buy a drink. She came up to me, and I didn’t have anything. I don’t make it a habit to give street people money, mostly because I see 2 or 3 of them everyday, and if I start giving money to one, I feel like I have to give money to them all. Plus, I don’t have a lot of money with going back to school. Selfish, yes. The other fact is that I see the same street people everyday, some of whom don’t look like they actually need help – at least from my impressions. Of course I don’t know their life stories, and they may very well need help, but I work with people who have next to nothing and they still manage their budgets to be able to live. But that’s another story for another day…

Anyways, after refusing to give this woman any change, she started to call me many names, most using the adjective “f—ing”. Nice. Everybody in the restaurant started to look at this woman as she walked in a circle, swearing and then moaning. I got up to the till and placed my order. As I did this, the woman came back, and, very politely, again she asked me for money for a drink. I wanted to ask her why I should, seeing as she had just called me a list of awful names. I said no, but offered her my water bottle. I figured if she was really thirsty, she’d take the water bottle and run, seeing as she could refill it and take it with her. She laughed at my offer. She LAUGHED. And then proceeded to tell me that she wanted juice. Well, that set alarm bells off in my head. Since when are homeless people picky? Yes, that’s not a very nice thing to say, but they usually aren’t. I then told her that the water bottle was my final offer. She then walked away, calling me more colorful names. I love it when people make me seem like trash…

Last night I saw “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Bard on the Beach, the BC equivalent of Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan. And I went in style. Heather was given tickets from a corporation that was helping to sponsor the festival, and last night they held a little party for their guests. There was supper beforehand, dessert during the intermission and parting gifts. I didn’t get a gift because I was a last-minute attendee due to a family emergency with Heather’s expected guest. But that’s okay. It’s one less thing to pack in the van when I move.

The play was great, with stunning energy from all of the performers. I got a little lost in some of the Shakespearean lingo at times (it’s been so long since I’ve seen a Shakespeare play), but for the most part, the actors did a good job of making the meaning of the text come across. Sometimes the play turned into an Adam Sandler comedy with various jokes about genitals, sex and bodily functions, along with tried and tired comedic ploys, but it was enjoyable. The weather was beautiful, making it a perfect night to be entertained by the beach.

And now it’s back to my day off, and trying not to be bored. Only 2 1/2 weeks until home time. The sooner, the better…


This picture is old (over a year), but Sadie still looks the same. I walk by a pet store on the way to my doctor, and I always stop and look. For the past couple of weeks there’s been what I call a “mini” or “baby” Sadie. She looks just like Sadie when she was a puppy. It makes me miss Sadie. I was almost tempted to by little Sadie, but she was $700. Even this puppy lover thinks that’s a little extreme… Posted by Picasa


Auntie Rita bought tickets for all of us to see Melissa Etheridge in concert while we were in Portland. I don’t know much of her stuff, but it was a good show, minus the never-ending guitar riffs. I can’t stand that. Songs that are stretched out for 10 minutes really annoy me. The 4 piece band was fantastic, including the Canadian lead guitarist who was gorgeous. In that kind of crowd, I wouldn’t have fought anyone for him. But, he’s married. Damn… Posted by Picasa


Beautiful Multnomah Falls near Portland, Oregon. Big falls, very little pond at the bottom. Maybe when the water falls that far the water molecules spread out to make the white foam we seeand the mist we feel, causing it to look like more water than there actually is. I don’t know. Whoa. I just voluntarily thought about physics. That will never happen again… Posted by Picasa


This is from the Oregon Coast, where I spent some time a couple of weeks ago. It’s so beautiful there, but some of the viewpoints as a little scary – look down and there’s nothing but rock. Posted by Picasa


What do you think? I finally discovered the straight iron. I can’t do it like my hairdresser did, but I WILL learn. This was the first day of the Rider season. Mom thinks we lost so badly because I changed my hair. Whatever… Posted by Picasa

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