Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Time for bed ...

This could be any day at the house next door.

Michael has been allowed to play some electronic games.

Alice is hanging over his shoulder, because it must be fun if Michael is doing it.

And Betty is just trying to figure out a way to get in closer.

Today I took an afternoon nap.

If I start my nap at 4:30 pm, I am not going to wake up until about 7 pm which is when that little household starts to close down.  I ran over there so that I didn't miss the last few minutes of fun.  Grandmother Joan was tending them, having a clean-up party and then she was letting them play hide and seek.

They have no new places to hide, but that doesn't matter to them.  Off they go for one last round of fun before going to bed.

Now how could life be better than that?


The Volleyball Season Begins

... a long shot of Gabe ...
Gabe Treleaven started high school this year.  

He goes to Central, which is a bit of a hike from his home.  

It takes him over an hour to get there on the bus.  

Gabe tried out for the volleyball team.  

He got on.  

Only 6 people tried out.  

They had to put out another call for players.

Today I got a note from Marcia.

She said:
You should've come to Gabe's volleyball game at Bowness. 
Darla and Don Robertson were there as Kirby's son is on the Bowness team.  
... the opposition have 20 + fans ...
Bowness High School is Art's alma matter. 
Twenty people sat on one side of the gym. 
I was alone on the other side. 
Next time we could use more supporters. 
It's only me on this side.
Marcia won't have to ask me twice to attend. 

I love going to high school games.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Visiting a Sikh Temple

Photo: Kerri Singh 
Every moment of the day has seemed precious to me.

I particularly enjoyed lunch (langar) with Kerri today.

I have been wanting to attend the Sikh Temple, ever since Pouria told me about his own visit to the one in north east Calgary.

Kerri told me that she would take me to the one in southwest Calgary someday, and that day occurred today.

She explained a few things to me in preparation for our visit.
Photo: Kerri Singh 
Both women and men have their hair covered in the temple. 

As well, there are no shoes or sock worn. She told me that we would sit upstairs for a while, listening to music and hearing some text.

I really did have a wonderful time. 

Most people sat cross-legged on the floor – all but the very old who sat on wooden benches around the perimeter of the room.

People entered, and at the offering box left what they wished to give and also knelt and bowed their heads to the floor.

Photo: Kerri Singh 
I was mostly watching the old people as they did this.

One of them bowed and then popped himself up as though he were a 20 year old.

On rethinking today’s experience, I should have gone to him and asked what is his secret to long life and good health.

And flexibility.

I identified more with the old man who made it to the floor, but only with a helper. And getting up was also a problem. He should have just come and sat on the side with the rest of us.

On the other hand, I give him that he needed to perform that ritual, even with the aches and the loss of balance that was his.

Photo: Kerri Singh 
The trio playing the instruments must have been doing a familiar melody to most of the people there. 

The woman next to me seemed to be humming along with him. To the left of me, I could feel her rocking and hear her voice.

Veer delivered a substantial ball of food to me as I sat listening to the music, more than a golf ball, but much less than a tennis ball. I later learned this was Karah Parshad (sweet flour and ghee-based food),

Kerri could take the recipe out of her head as she told me what was in it, ending with, "and Veer loves it".

Photo: Kerri Singh 
 I sat and ate, watching others to see what the method was.

Veer seemed quite happy downstairs when we went there and began to get our lunch.

Kerri thinks that the abundance of it might be signalling Diwali.

Today there were lots of sweets, some pekorahs and samosa and a veritable vegetarian feast along the buffet line.

There were 2 sizes of plates: medium and large. 

This is the perfect way for my food.
I like everything separated ... not touching.
Veer took the large one, so I did as well.

 The only place I faltered along the line is when the server asked me, “One chapatti or two?” Without breaking the rhythm of the work he was doing he gave me what it seemed I was asking for: two.

I had a paneer dish (that seemed like butter chicken), a vegetable dish, a garbanzo bean dish, some sweet cocoanut rice, and as Veer puts it, “liquidy yogurt with some cucumber in it today”. “

The spices in this food are going to make you very sleepy,” said Veer.

 He was right.

Delicious and I came right home and had a long nap.


PS  I ate with the headscarf on.  I am not used to eating in this fashion.  I found the scarf getting into my mouth before the food did and so I seemed to be jamming the food into a cloth barrier.  I am going to give this some practise before I go back next time.  And I will be going back.

Kerri and Me

It is not often that a photo op occurs in a parking lot. 

But there was Lynda Pearson, offering to take a shot of Kerri Singh and me, so now you see it:  how the two of us dressed for Aunt Sharon's funeral. 

Both of us were working hard at showing respect. 

Some colour, but not too much.

I think Sharon would have loved us.

She did the same thing for Nadine's funeral, though I think she did a little better than the two of us, even buying a new dress.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Die Zauberflöte (Mozart) - Part I

I didn't have to be very long into this morning's HD Opera from New York until I was thinking, "Yes, worth it, even for just this much. Not even 10 minutes and I am in opera heaven."

Markus Werba  (Papageno)
Photo: Richard Termine | Metropolitan Opera
There were a lot of children at the opera today, in our theatre.

I might have counted a row of ten of them in front of me, and then I sat by a little 9 year old who was coming for the first time.  I asked her what she knew about the opera and she said nothing.

I thought, good for her parents.  They got her there.  Now she can decide if she likes this or not.

The opera was complicated for me today.  I am not crazy about fantasy and if I see it, it is so well done in the movie.

The theatre depended on what seemed like mile-high puppets:  the snake that takes up the whole stage, the fanciful bird and the children riding on its back, the five dancing bears and the wonderful masks on the heads of the 3 servants of the Queen of the Night.

What made the opera complicated is that I had read its history --  a 200 year old opera -- a mash-up of opera, stage, performers with style, and people who needed to be reminded of the melody before signing it.

All of that stylized Masonic iconography.

What great visuals.

I think a good time was had by all who were at the opera.  I didn't see anyone leaving.

Also see "The Met Has the Voices.  But will it need more to survive?

The walk up to the cinema and the walk back from the C-train also made me thoughtful.  On the way there I saw a blanket and a sleeping bag tucked up against the sound barrier where the sidewalk and its flower beds join Crowchild trail.  "I guess whomever slept there last night is coming back to the same place tonight," I thought, at the same time as I saw some running shoes connected to feet coming out from the north end of the blankets.  "I wonder where he will get his coffee this morning," I wondered, thinking about all of the houses along the sidewalk where good breakfasts were being served. 

On the way back from the theatre the wind was blowing as hard as I have ever felt it blow.  A couple of times I had to put my whole body into it, just to stay standing.  This was just when I was approaching the traffic circle at Crowchild Place.  There Crowchild Bottle Depot is also there and empty pop bottle cans were loose and flying across the road.  I had to keep my feet still for it looked like a chance to play kick the can with a can ready to be kicked at every step.  Now those are cans that are going to be re-recycled, if someone has a bag and the energy to make some money.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Tag - I cheat a bit

Michael, Alice and Betty wanted to play tag on the front lawn in front of our houses.  I can't run that fast anymore.  In fact, I can't even jog. The good thing about playing with Betty is just so she is tagged every so often she will keep running back and forth between the boundaries we have set up.

Michael can out run me, out think me, and out jump me (since there is one ledge where he can leap down, and where I can only gingerly sit down and then let myself off).

Alice doesn't care, just so long as she doesn't have to be "it" all of the time.  And in the middle of our game she suddenly changed it to frozen tag.

I love it.  The rules are so fluid when we play tag.


Die Zauberflöte (Mozart)

Photo: Met Opera
Looks like the beginning of another Met Live Season.  Saturday's show is 3 hours, 45 minutes.

I couldn't find any reviews but did enjoy myself out on this site: The Magic Flute - Wikipedia.

Synopsis to The Magic Flute:

Met Music Director Emeritus James Levine conducts Tony Award winner Julie Taymor’s production of Mozart’s masterpiece, Die Zauberflöte.

Golda Schultz makes her Met debut as Pamina with Kathryn Lewek as the Queen of the Night, Charles Castronovo as the fairy tale prince Tamino, Markus Werba as the bird-catching Papageno, Christian Van Horn as Sprecher, and René Pape as Sarastro.