Monday, June 29, 2009

Musical Ride!

I know that everyone has been hoping that I've been to see the Musical Ride: the equestrian exhibition that a special division of the Mounties do, frequently going on wold tours, spreading love, joy, and the Canadian 'eh'.

Luckily for you, and even luckier for the Moms, the Musical Ride was going its yearly Ottawa-home-base series of performances! This is one of the buildings at the RCMP stables in Ottawa.

Mum is very happy to be heading to the Musical Ride.

There were loads of families and kids.

But the Moms enjoyed all of it too. Especially the song, "I'm Lucky to Live in Canada!" - which they decided was the Canadian version of "Proud to be an American! (where at least I know I'm free...)". Either way, we were all lucky to be at the Musical Ride.

Today at the ThinkTank I asked Supervisor Greg is he was familiar with "I'm Lucky to Live in Canada" and he was not. He was also highly amused and somewhat disturbed when I recited the lines of "I'm Proud to be an American".

Some dignitaries were escorted to the performance area via Musical Ride Carriage.

The US Army Golden Knights exhibition parachuting team was making a special visit to Canada and jumped out of an airplane as part of the beginning festivities of the Musical Ride.

Which is why we sang "O Canada" to this as opposed to a flag on a pole:

Then, because the Canadians are friendly and nice and the Golden Knights were visiting, we listened to the "Star-Spangled Banner":

There were also bagpipers.

You can see how excited Mum was about the bagpipers. (Her university had pipers. One of her neighbors was a piper. He would go out drinking, then decide to play a few little tunes for all of his neighbors. Marching into their apartments and piping. Needless to say, Mum is not a fan of bagpipes up close and personal.)

Some of the newer equestrian Mounties carried this small structure out onto the field. The a bad guy raced into the arena, grabbed a 'spectator' from the crowd and held him hostage in the little structure! (Soundtrack - "Bad Boys").

And then the special agent Mounties swoop in to catch the bad guys and save the hostage! They even threw a small explosive device toward the structure in which the bad guy was hiding. It was very exciting. Some of them went inside to tangle with the bad guy: the structure shook on its foundation at this point! (Soundtrack - "Shaft").

The hostage was saved and bad guy (in the flannel) gets put where he belongs.

Everyone enjoyed this part: mom and baby horse took a lap. (Soundtrack - "Embraceable You")

Finally - the Musical Ride!!!

Very impressive, eh?!?

I've been practicing the appropriate use of the term "eh" at work. It makes everyone in the paper lab laugh.

Since the festivities were more formally titled something like, "The RCMP's Musical Ride Sunset Ceremony," the flag was formally lowered and folded while everyone stood at attention. Alas, there was no wind, so the flag doesn't look very impressive in this picture.

Horses included. Afterwards the horses came along the sidelines to hang out for their cooling down time. People were welcome to go up and meet the horses, pat their noses, and to talk with their corresponding Mountie. We met a very nice horse named Vimy. Vimy's Mountie was friendly too, but we didn't catch her name.

Not my video, but I really hope it works this time.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


So you want to be a Mountie? Canadian funny man Rick Mercer goes to the RCMP training camp. My favorite parts are that even when the instructors are yelling at the candidates, they sound friendly and Canadian.

Recent Alteration: I am more sad than I can say that copyright laws prohibit your viewing of this. I'm not sure I'll be able to watch it outside of Canada. I can never watch any of Michael's non-babies videos while I'm in Canada.

Moms in Canada!

Since Thursday evening, three Moms have been in Canada: Mum, Ynn, and Mary Ann. So I've been quite busy with entertaining. We've hit all the highlights of Ottawa.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Buffy vs Edward

I did not make this, but I kind of wish that I had.

Mark in Canada

Guess who came to Ottawa this past weekend?

Mark's passport was in need of some exercise, so he came up to Canada for the weekend. Happily, the weather was beautiful.

It is as though he is about to burst into song. Though, in real life, he did not.

In Montreal, at some little cupcake shop. Mark was quite delighted by the cupcake decorations. Obviously.

My cupcake.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Grocery Store Jackpot

I found these at the local Loblaws grocery store this morning.  And then I quickly realized that they needed to become mine.  Observe the center temporary tattoo, it's the gem of the whole collection: Canada, eh!  That alone makes it work the $1.99 that I spent.

Bird better watch out, because as soon as I get a envelope these will fit in, one sheet will be headed his way!  I'd send some to Colin and Gillie too, but I fear they would give Colin a rash.

Post floor-mopping kitchen-cleaning self-portrait.  What's that?


Wedding Actuality

This is probably the most incoherent thing ever to have been written about a wedding.  But that's just how it goes.

David and Mercedes' long-awaited wedding was a week from yesterday.  It was a really long weekend - what with entire days spent in the car driving to/from the Great White North - but was also really fantastic.  Activities not only included the baking and eating of the armadillo cake (see Armadillo Cake 2.0) but also cookouts and dancing and Paesano pizza eating.

The girl half of the wedding party was at a local salon at the crack of dawn to have our hair done.  

I always wonder, why, for somebody with hair that curls nicely on its own, do hairdressers still comb it frizzy, hairspray it, curl it on a curling iron, and then hairspray it again?  It will totally do that on its own - no need to worry about the curl falling out, because it won't happen - and it makes so much more work.  And then my head feels like concrete for the rest of the day.

Mercedes really had the best hair.

And in the break between the hair events and the actual wedding, we went to the Tastee Freez!  Look how excited Beth is!  That excitement is totally justified.

The babies also made an appearance.  This is before the wedding, in the room the bride and her maids hang out in, getting ready.  You can see how lovely Mercedes looked here... I don't actually have any during-wedding photographs of anyone.  Naturally.  Check out C&G's blog for those

Post-wedding.  Photo by Mum. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Art Show Candidates

Vote on your favorites.

Bratislava, Slovakia

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Ghent, Belgium

Quebec City, Canada

Quebec City, Canada

Paris, France

Toronto, Canada

Ottawa, Canada

Yellow Door, Quebec City, Canada

Brugge, Belgium

Jesus and cathedral, Ghent, Belgium - the only picture that could possibly trump Michael's - how else can you beat Babies and Pregnant Lea?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

(there is no damage, never was)

One of my fellow interns (Christine) at the ThinkTank is a poet - when she's not a conservator - I'm not sure which activity is her secret life.  If she is a poet who fixes books to pay the bills, or a conservator who is a closet poet.  Either way, several of her pieces have recently been published in an anthology and last night was a celebratory reading and book launch.  All of the ThinkTank interns (I think there are seven of us now) went to show our support.  It was held in a little bar-ish place.  The event began with an open mic - several grad student poets read things they've been working on - and then after a brief interlude the four featured readers were the anthology authors.  Christine was the final poet, and we all agreed that her work was the best -both in terms of reading and writing - and also that her work received the best reception from the audience.

Fellow Intern: Poet Christine

She gave us interns a shout-out and a wink during her set, reading a piece titled 'Restoration' as one of her several selections (which is also in the anthology Dalhousie Blues - typeset by Christine - buy it if you can find it to buy).

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Armadillo Cake 2.0

David specifically requested a bleedin' armadillo groomscake for the rehearsal dinner.  A' la' Steel Magnolias.  And since I had made one for Michael, I figured I could make one for David too.

Check out that grey icing.

I modified an aluminum pan to make an armadillo body shape.  Mum was amazed.

This is quite disturbing, actually - it looks like a victim of Evil Willow.  The body of the armadillo is constructed from red velvet cake, adhered together with red-tinted icing.  This is obviously before it's grey skin icing has been applied.  


Yes. It has x's for eyes.