Saturday, August 06, 2011

A beautiful summer

I can't believe that it's already well into August!

At the beginning of the summer my 14-month contract ended without securing new employment and I was worried! But, luckily 7 weeks later I was in a new job (thank goodness).

During that time off, I devoted some of my time to learning more about social media. As a seasoned marketing communications professional, I thought it was a good opportunity to see how this new media really works. I continued to explore the social media activity with my former employer along with a not-for-profit charity and a celebrity. And, when I wasn't doing that I was busy designing/making more jewelry, looking for new work, saving my pennies and resurrecting my solo-type singing.

While I became more active in a choir that I belong to last winter, I still didn't sing at my strongest and my voice was at its weakest point ever! The actual catalyst for getting my voice back into shape and resurrecting my solo work (which encompassed singing at church and doing concerts in homes for seniors, the mentally disabled and so on) was the celebrity that I began using as my social media case study.

The celebrity is a classically trained British singer who has moved his career to cover different genres from his operatic roots to show tunes and musicals. I discovered him on a PBS show celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Les Miserables. He starred as Jean Valjean and the notes he sang got me interested in him so I explored more and was soon hooked after seeing his youtube videos, purchasing his CDs and observing his on-line presence. I honestly have to say that one of his CDs, with powerful spiritual overtones put me in the right frame of mind to be able to go out there and get a new job!

It's amazing how music and one performer can inspire a person - but it's happened to me. Not even the Mick Jaggers or Robert Plants of my youth have inspired me this way. But, perhaps that's also because of all the one-on-one exposure I've had to music and sport celebs through my professional and sporting life that's left me somewhat jaded with fans vs. celebs - but this time, somehow my soul was pierced.

Some people on social media might drool at his looks etc., but for me it's nothing like that. It's all about his amazing lyric tenor voice and musical choices that have really touched my soul. His public persona that radiates honesty and integrity has also helped too.

Anyway, now that I've got a job - I'm actually gonna go over to London in October to see him perform in the West End as Jean Valjean. Oh, and this marvellous singer with amazing personal integrity whose star is rising quickly goes by the name of Alfie Boe.

In a later post, I'll tell you about a crazy project that I've been working on with another that has to do with photography and his image.

Thats all for now .... love you xx

Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm back

It's been almost a year and I can't believe it. I've always meant to post - but never did. I guess I needed a break and spent most of my time on facebook. However, I still am alive and kicking. Perhaps the warmer weather has taken me out of hibernation.

What inspired my return was reading my old posts and getting in touch with my past and missing the company on the blogosphere.

What have I been doing lately? Other than than the ordinary mundane things in life - I've been singing, creating jewelry, gardening and enjoying the warmer weather. As well, when it comes to music - I've discovered more great artists and vocalists that really want me to return to a more disciplined approach to singing again.

This post is spontaneous and I didn't have anything really planned to say. Except to say I'm back and give everyone a quick hello.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Some people's talents .....

..... never cease to amaze

No wonder teachers in school couldn't believe that I was this person's little sister. He's also a piano teacher and a published but retired biologist.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


This week-end I lived in a city that I know well but didn't recognize.

Th G20 summit was held in Toronto and has now drawn to a close. For most people like me who live in this peaceful city, this summit was not something we were looking forward to. City politicians and ordinary citizens begged the federal government to hold it in a non-urban setting.

A huge section of the downtown core was fenced in and for many an hour no one was allowed in or out. Major highways were closed and businesses were forced to shut down on Friday or alter their work behaviour. Oh and the public transit system also shut down.

The cost of the summit was over ONE BILLION DOLLARS. This price tag is proof that the country was prepared for anything, but what transpired over the week-end is something I never expected. What happened was new and shocking for Toronto, for residents and business owners, police and protesters.

As the week-end draws to a close, I'm left with many unanswered questions from all sides and angles. Why smash windows, throw rocks and bricks or set fires? Why did the police storm peaceful protesters when only a few were causing the problems? And what came first, the installation of the fence or those trying to take it down?

I came to this city reluctantly but out of necessity for work. However, over the 10+ years that I've lived here, I now have learned to call it my home as it's not the pedestrian and boring city of my youth but a vibrant cosmopolitan metropolis of culture, arts, sports and well-being.

So I was shocked at how many behaved this week-end. Surely, protesting involves making clear messages and statements, not using hammers and boards to shatter windows at Starbucks, banks and other businesses nor burning police cars. Is it a lack of creativity? A lack of understanding about how to affect change?

I'm equally shocked at the behaviour of the police today (20,000 strong!). They set up a huge detention centre and held people "like pigs in a sty". I guess I don't get the "break everything in sight" because it's an opportunity thought process". Is it just for fun? When will all those police, storm troopers and military go away? I am very disheartened and hope I never see an event or type of behaviour here in Toronto again.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Progress ....

In the last month I sadly hadn't made any more progress on my garden until today! Two week-ends I was out of town, the other week-ends I was entertaining friends. But! today at 6:30 I decided to get up and at it before the 30 degree humid heat arrived. Three hours later I have petunias, a rock border more wood chips. Yes, I have a little to do tomorrow .... but that will wait. Glad that my plants in the rock garden are getting a little bit bigger too. Now, I'm off to do some shopping for groceries now.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A few days south

Last Wednesday, my new contract position brought me to the hot city of Atlanta Georgia. For two days I had continuous meet and greet meetings so when Friday rolled around I was pooped. Once I got back to the hotel, I slept for two hours. I awoke hungry and decided to go across the street to a big 200 store mall to find food and clothing.

I stayed on over the week-end as I had arranged to meet with blogger Anne Marie's in-laws, Herb and Gwen who live in the Atlanta area. I had met Herb and Gwen many times before on week-ends in Port Dover, Ontario.

We met up just east of Atlanta at Stone Mountain, a bare quartz monozonite dome. It's elevation is 1,686 ft (513 m) above the surrounding area and its circumference is more than five miles (8 km) in circumference at its base. We took a gondola up to the top where we were stranded for an hour due to safety as a violent thunderstorms in the humid 95 (35) heat rolled nearby.

One of the few trees atop Stone Mountain

On our way to the top!

After getting down and eating some southern fare at the base, we dropped my car rental at the airport and then continued south to Herb and Gwen's home for a reprieve from the heat and humidity, except for when I took their little white bundle of joy out for a walk!

Westy, looking at me and wondering why we had stopped walking!

Since we had southern fare for lunch and it was suggested to me that we have Mexican, that's what we did. The music was blasting inside and luckily as the sun was setting, the heat was going down too so we ate on the patio.

Herb and Gwen on the patio

The next day, Herb insisted that I drive their new golf cart along their 18 hole golf course. It was about 7:00 and not too hot. My biggest regret is not having my camera because the golf course trail took us to some marvelous sights along the greens and through the wonderful Georgian woods.

We then talked and chatted in their sun room, which looks onto some woods

Herb and Gwen just love their new retirement (55 years+) community. They took me to see the model homes and the well equipped amenity centre after having lunch and before I was off to the airport.

Golf Course view from Amenity Centre

Herb and Gwen's new home.
(much larger than the camper they had for four years)

It was a lovely visit and I am thankful that my work took me to a place where I was able to visit Anne Marie's in laws. They are lovely people and truthfully feel like extended family to me. They certainly adore Anne Marie as well.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A new temporary post

Needed to put a new post up so that I didn't have to look at that creature in my previous post. Everytime I saw it my skin would crawl.

guess I really don't like that Gargoyle although I have to admit that there are some out there that are a lot better looking.

some people have a "thing" about clowns, I have a similar "thing" with these creatures.

A new real post coming soon