Red lipstick brings me good luck

Sean and I in the StonesVIP photo booth.
Sean and I in the #StonesVIP photo booth. Couldn’t convince him to wear the prop scarf.

Sean called me at work a few months ago and asked me this question:

“Do you want to go see the Rolling Stones in June?”

It was not the question I was expecting on a quiet workday morning just before lunch.

When I asked him why, he told me that they were releasing a bunch of discounted tickets, but buyers wouldn’t know where they would be sitting till the day of the show.

Seeing that we’re both under 40, we’re too young for the Stones’ heyday. However, as someone who loves reading about the history of music and pop culture, I figured we better take the opportunity to see them before they finally decide to retire.

Besides, a night out is a night out, right?

This past Thursday night, I rushed home from work, picked up Flora and got ready for my night out. On a whim, I purchased a tube of bright red lipstick. I haven’t worn really red lipstick since I was a teenager, but it seemed like the right thing to do. A classic look for a classic rock band, right?

Flora really liked the red lipstick and was annoyed when I wouldn’t let her have any. I was trying hard not to screw up the application or get it all over my teeth. Once I dropped her off next door for a sleepover with her BFFs, I did a fast manicure and Sean and I were off to the train to go back into the city.

When we got in line to pick up our tickets, the person who checked Sean’s ID asked us to go into a different line. When we got there, the woman told us that we got tickets in the Tongue Pit. On the floor. In front of the stage.

Holy crap.

The woman put our wristbands on for us and we walked into the arena. We checked out the merchandise (lots of choices and all overpriced), got a couple of drinks and did the modern thing and posted our surprise to Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, Twitter and Instagram. The picture at the top of this post was a staged setup where there were people taking pictures with your phone so you could upload the picture to Instagram. Any opportunity to get a picture of Sean and I together that we don’t have to do selfie-style is good so I handed my phone over for some pictures.

We’ve been to a lot of concerts over the years and we’ve never had seats that good for a show this big. I worried that the standing-room only would mean that I wouldn’t be able to see anything and it would be crowded – my usual issue with general admission tickets. I learned that the advantage of seeing a band who’s been around for 50 years is that their audience is way more laid back than other shows we’ve been to. People brought their tween/teenage kids. We stood at the left-hand side of the pit, right next to the ego-ramp. And the security guard who reminded us not to lean on it as it was ‘put together with duct tape’. I stood up straight because I wasn’t going to be responsible for breaking Mick Jagger’s hip.

Sean in the pit

 I will admit that I didn’t know every single song, but my classic rock band of choice has always been Queen. The show was what you would expect of a band who’s been together for 50 years: tightly choreographed, heavy on the big hits and to the point. We were close enough to count the wrinkles, but also close enough to see that those guys are in incredible shape. Which you would have to be to still be able to tour worldwide.

I’m glad I said yes to Sean buying the tickets. We had  a lot of fun. I’ve decided to keep that red lipstick in my purse for good luck. Interesting things may happen when I wear it next.

Dude! We got lucky on our Stones tickets!

Saying Yes

Something weird happened to me today. No, really.

I was having a perfectly ordinary day at work when I noticed this tweet:

Intrigued, I checked my email. I had a note asking me if I could do something online in about an hour. It was really short notice (especially considering I had never done it before), but I thought “why not?”. (Note to my work peeps: I made sure I was reasonably caught up with my work first.)

This is how I ended up being part of a panel on HuffPost Live earlier today. The subject was ‘changing your name after you get married’. I believe the producer found me via my post I wrote last year about why I hyphenated my name after I got married.

I’ve never done one of these segments before. It was done via a Google+ Hangout, which I had also never used before (they’re easy). Once I got the confirmation I was in, I hustled to a spare office with my laptop so I could set up and talk without interruption and my cubicle mates thinking I was crazier than normal, talking to myself about my choice of nomenclature.

Here is the link to the discussion.

 I chatted with the other panelists beforehand and they were lovely women. I hope the woman who couldn’t decide what to do about her name (she’s getting married in a month) comes to a decision that works for her and her husband.

I’m not so sure how I did as a first-time panelist with no experience or guidance. I am happy that my microphone worked. I didn’t say a lot – the joys of being an introvert.Too much listening.

I’m proud that I went for it though. If they had caught me on another day, I probably would have just said “No, I’m at work – can’t do it”, and spent the rest of the day wondering “what if I had done it?”

Saying yes can be just as powerful as saying no.

I need to say yes more often. Get out of my rut. Try something new. Have adventures. This feels like a good start.

What family memories are made of

Yesterday started out as a typical summer Saturday — housework, laundry, errands and kid-wrangling. We capped the afternoon off with a delicious barbecued supper of pork souvlaki, peppers with goat cheese and rice*.

By the time dessert was eaten and the dishes were cleared, it was almost time for Flora to get ready for bed. I hate getting her ready for bed right after we eat. It makes me feel like we’ve ran out of time and I’m therefore a bad mother**. It happens more often than I care to admit.

Since I didn’t want to put her to bed just yet, I asked her if she wanted to take a walk around the block in her pajamas. This is not something we do every day.

“A silly walk Mummy? In our pajamas?” (I don’t think Flora has ever watched Monty Python, so not sure where that came from.)

“Yup. Go get your jammies on and we’ll go for a walk. You, me, and Daddy.”

Flora took off to find her silliest pajamas (not sure what the criteria for that was). She asked if I was going to get in my jammies too. I hadn’t planned on it, then I thought “why not?”. So I went and found pajamas that covered all my interesting bits and didn’t look too out-of-place without wimping out and going with yoga pants and a t-shirt, since I knew Flora would call me out and say “that’s not jammies Mummy!”.

When we got out the door, Sean was heading to the car.

Flora was confused. “Daddy! Aren’t you coming on our silly walk?”

Sean’s answer: “Do you want to go and see the lake?”

Our new house is close to the lake. We knew that we could park our car and go down a walkway to get to it, but hadn’t actually done it in the four months we’ve lived here. This was going to be the night we finally got there. Flora and I got our pajama-clad selves into the car.

Less than ten minutes later, we were going down that walkway. There were a lot of people with the same idea, but Flora and I were the only ones in our jammies. (I was doubly grateful that I had left my bra on.)

As Flora ran ahead of us, I whispered to Sean that I wanted to get a picture of the two of them walking together.

My heart could burst looking at them together.

When we got to the lake, we discovered that the park was actually a beach. A beach! I have a beach less than ten minutes from my house! I think I knew this, but didn’t really think about it when we planned our adventure. It was late and we had no sand toys but we walked in the sand, looked at the boats and ducks, and threw rocks in the water. We went home after an hour or so and Flora went to bed without any prompting from us. She was so happy that Sean suggested the trip and gave him lots of big hugs.

Big enough to run ahead.

Score one for Daddy. Unexpected adventure makes for the best family memories.

* Is it possible to cook rice on the barbecue? Has anyone ever had any real-life success with it? Sean has been a barbecuing machine lately and the more he BBQs, the fewer dishes I have to wash.

** We’re doing better on weeknights because I recently shifted my work hours to start at 7:30am and be done at 4pm. I pick up Flora and we’re home by 5:45 where I used to get home at 6:30. It’s easy to get lazy about dinner timing on weekends since duh, it’s the weekend.


Moving forward, looking back

February, being the shortest month, always moves quickly. It’s usually a relief when it’s over because then we’re that much closer to spring and nicer weather.

It’s still a relief for those reasons this year, but it’s also felt even shorter due to our upcoming move.

The move we’re making tomorrow.

We spent the last half of January and all of February preparing for moving into our new home. We’ve had lots of help, but we’re still sitting here the night before with lots to do. Of course a lot of those things simply cannot be done until the movers come and take our (piles and piles of) boxes and empty our home.

Our first house. The house Sean and I became a married couple in. Where we raised our child from pregnancy to almost-ready-for-JK. (When did *that* happen?)

I’m excited to go to our new home, but I’m feeling a bit wistful and weepy about leaving this one. We’ve had a good run during the nine years we lived here: nice neighbours, a wonderful daycare provider who we’re heartbroken to leave, a nice sunny deck where we spent a lot of weekend afternoons hanging out.

I’m sure we’ll find those things in our new home, but the unknown is always scary.

There is still so much to do so I feel like I should be doing stuff besides writing and ruminating. If Sean and I get through tomorrow without wanting to kill each other, it will be a miracle. Moving really is one of the most stressful things you can do to yourself. I don’t know how all those HGTV-junkie types do it.

We’re back!

Home again jiggety-jog.

I’m happy to report that my worries about long-distance traveling were blown out of proportion. Flora traveled like a champ. She got good use out of the portable DVD player we bought (more than I would have liked, but it kept her happy) and was generally in good spirits the entire week despite not napping much. (Oh please let this not be the end of naptime though.)

The rest of us traveled pretty well too. No major meltdowns from any of us. Considering that we drove for nearly 18 hours (with stops) before we stopped in Bangor, Maine for the night, that’s pretty remarkable.

New Brunswick is a lovely place. A lot of Sean’s extended family lives there and it was great to see so many of them and in mine and Flora’s cases, meet them for the first time. Flora was a bit shy with most of them, but would usually open up and chat eventually.

Other highlights include:

  • The cottage we stayed at: ocean view, just big enough for us, lots of books to read and modern appliances (including a dishwasher and washer/dryer. Very different from the cottages I stayed in as a kid)
  • Whale watching on the Bay of Fundy. It was early in the season, but we saw a couple of finback whales. They were coy though, just flashing a bit of their backs out of the water.
  • Lobster! Even though Sean chased me around the cottage with one before he put it in the pot.
  • Watching Flora pet jellyfish, starfish and sea urchins (she’s much braver than her mama, who recoiled in horror at these creatures).

Here are our pictures from the trip.

We drove back on Canada Day and after our longer trip south of the border, I insisted we go through Canada coming home. We were lucky that traffic was pretty smooth most of the way (although it was busy going the other way). I wanted to get some Quebec cheese on our way through and I was thrilled to find a cheese shop on the Trans Canada Highway. It was early in the drive so I felt like I had to rush to pick what I wanted since Sean and Flora stayed in the car. The cheese made it home (even the curd!) and I’ve tried not to gobble it up too fast.

Sean and I returned to work today, but it still feels like a vacation. Flora is visiting family this week – my mum and sister are tag-teaming on taking care of her this week. Sean’s mum is getting some grandkid time too. Judging from the phone call I had with my mum last night, they are all having a ball. Boating, swimming and general fun with grandma and auntie is a good way to top a long-distance trip with your parents. Sean’s mum is babysitting the dog and cat so it’s just Sean and I at home now.

I keep saying “2003 called. It wants its life back”. (We got the dog in 2005, but the cat’s been around since 1998 so it’s not an entirely true statement.)

The break has been nice so far. I went and had my nails done and Sean went to see Soundgarden on Saturday night. We do plan to do stuff together: dinner’s on the agenda and possibly a movie (if we can decide on one we both want to see that’s worth parting with our hard-earned money for – too bad HP7 Part 2 isn’t out till later in the month). Outside of that, our plans are loose. Tips are welcome.

The weather’s been great and it’s shaping up to be a fun summer. Here’s hoping it stays that way.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.
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