SKOOKUM!

Wow what a blast. So much so that it took me a week to process it! (ha, ok but true, things were crazy at work and I ran out of time/energy to do much more than work and ride last week. Life stuff, man..).

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Friday:

I went up on the Friday and my awesome friend picked me up at the ferry and we went to stay with my other equally amazing friend at her place in Vancouver. We prepared by having lunch, pre-drinking and then heading out to see the evening Friday lineup.

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Sitting on friend’s shoulders at Chromeo!

We were NOT disappointed. Highlights include Chromeo (sooo fun!!) and Matt Mays. Wowza, he can rock! The Arkells were the headliner of the night and they were ok but to be honest I’m kind of spoiled now and I have seen them so many times it doesn’t feel as special anymore??

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Things that were dumb about the festival- no food allowed in? WTF? So we of course snuck granola bars in, and then went to The Nam for a 1am dinner. It took FOREVER! I was falling asleep in my Dragon Bowl! Hahahahha.

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Saturday:

We sat around in the apartment until like…2pm. We were tired. Plus my husband was meeting us, so we wanted to go down to Stanley Park with him. We  hit up happy hour dtown when he came and it was pretty good! Then we bought some drinks for the road (walk) to Stanley Park and rocked out in the park. Standouts include…

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  • Metric – good but I don’t love her new stuff.
  • St. Vincent- rocking it with a translucent pantsuit?? Wow.
  • The War on Drugs- alt psychedelic rock. Slowjam, all smooth. Loved it!
  • Headliners Florence + The Machines were so awesome. She seems just like the loveliest person!

Evening it rained on and off, but not enough to chill the mood! We went to pizza-by-the-slice at 12am or so, ha.

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Sunday: We did NOT get up early, yet again. These late nights are killer, haha. Speaking of which, this was the lineup not to be missed!!! We did our usual get up late, play videogames, and then straggle downtown to happy hour (and it did NOT disappoint!) and the grab some drinks for the road for our walk to Stanley Park.

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The lineup was incredible, just stacked:

  • Whitehorse- great, but I wanted them to play a few songs that they didn’t! bummer.
  • Greta Van Fleet- wow. these kids could rock!!
  • The Bahamas- amazing. Just the chillest guy, and when he came onstage and was like, ok we’re going to have a chill time you guys…I was thinking- yesss this guy gets it!
  • Mother Mother- Now I have seen these guys a few times and they’re always fun. Did not disappoint.
  • Father John Misty- the only disappointing thing about his set? TOO short!
  • The Killers- WOW. Brought the house down. Just a blast, all around!!
  • Blue Rodeo- Only caught a few songs, because there were too many other good acts on at  the same time- oh poor me eh? ha. IMG_0709

Night time, we went back and gorged on snacks at my friends apartment.

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Hug from a spaceman.

A great time with great people.

 

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Getting past the past

Man, I am tired. After a very nice and fairly relaxing weekend (we made and decorated sugar cookies!) and went to watch some live music including Christmas carols at the Breakwater Bistro, it was straight into a rather hellish Monday at work…Ugh.

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I only have 4 more days. I can do this. I find this time of year really stressful and tiring. I sometimes have a hard time getting in the ‘Christmas Spirit’ TM but I am taking it day by day and hopefully things will turn around.

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I’m not kidding. We made & decorated a LOT of cookies!! Good times with a good friend.

In the meantime, I am just tired and kind of dragging myself to the barn to ride. My rides feel kind of short and half-assed, and yet the work Oats is giving me is really GOOD?! Go figure eh? We have been focusing on transitions (transitions, transitions, transitions..) and I am really happy with how he is going.

It’s cold though. And dark. And just…blah.

I can’t go on. I’ll go on. We have a dressage lesson today, and my friend with her horse will be joining us- I’m looking forward to seeing what she learns today!

When they fight, they fight

Ah been feeling a tad unmotivated lately- summer lazy maybe? Oats has been a spooky  moron some days and it’s driving me insane…He’s good with another horse in the ring, and was pretty decent to ride when my husband came out to watch/get a pony ride, but other times he’s running backwards, spooking sideways so violently I’m hanging off the saddle, or threatening to rear while running backwards and trembling…Greeeeat…

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He is a handsome devil!

Canada Day celebrations were fabulous, I can’t say I would change a single thing! The day was pretty effortless, and on Friday we were even able to see Tegan & Sara (great!) and on Saturday The Arkells, and fireworks after attending a friend’s BBQ- she had ribs and they were soooooo good.

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Rode all four days- Sat/Sun/Mon/Tues to above-mentioned mixed success. He was fine last night too, rode in the other field and really enjoyed that ride. Wish he wasn’t so stupid and spooky right now! I can’t figure out what changes in his brain when we’re alone in the outdoor arena, and the most frustrating part is that he was SO GOOD when we came out in the outdoor…Then I take a week off for my sister’s wedding and he’s a total idiot. WTF?

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What gives?

Oh well, have to work through his dumbass behaviour until it goes away later in the summer.

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Celebrated 8 years of marriage this weekend!

Runningwise? Hah not happening. We ran lightly this weekend, like 5k and my legs were fried. Just fried. I have no real desire to run, at all, right now. I do think I am burned out of it, to be honest! Maybe I’m burned out of everything, ha.

But, I do want to try polo and that has been on my mind for awhile….!!

Want to be someone you can get behind

Back at work, and not so glorious. Oh well, at least it gives me an opportunity to be a productive member of society, and not a shiftless horseback rider and running bum, that I would prefer to be! I did ride Oats yesterday evening, and it was a fine ride. I do need some lessons soon though, to keep me back on track. Funny, my last lesson was on Wednesday and I already feel rusty?! The fine line between burnout and keeping my strength & skills is indeed something I have not mastered apparently.

Today I also shared a few recipes with colleagues that I happen to love, thanks to discovering them in Brasil. Without further ado- here they are! Yummy.

Pao de queijo- super easy to make and delicious! Use any kind of cheese & it is naturally gluten-free. This recipe does not make that many, so I doubled it to make about a dozen, and you can get tapioca starch at my favourite store, Bulk Barn.

http://rasamalaysia.com/brazilian-cheese-bread-pao-de-queijo/

Mine pictured here:

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Yum pao de queijo

Also this is a super delicious bean stew- Feijoada. With Jamie Oliver’s recipe it can be vegetarian as well- also delicious

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jun/05/black-bean-pork-feijoada-one-pot-stew-recipe-brazil

Jamie’s version:

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/smoky-veggie-feijoada/

And here is a song I really like right now too: The Tourist Company, “Pedestals”

Going to the Opera: Simon Boccanegra

And now for something completely different…I took last night off riding and attended the opening night of Simon Boccanegra, a Giuseppe Verdi opera that was showing at the BC Royal Theatre.

And how was it? Well!

It was my first opera, I’ll be the first to admit I have a hard time sitting for that long- and it was LONG. 155 minutes, including intermission. I didn’t get home until after 11am~ on a school (work) night!

The opera singing was very impressive, the sets were super cool and I really liked how they used the sets to advance the plot. The plot was incredibly ridiculous and basically impossible to follow, with much of the action happening either off stage or in the page-long prologue. So…I’d say that this opera is not for beginners, hahah. It was like a soap opera on crack!!

The opera is based on the play Simon Boccanegra by Antonio García Gutiérrez, and it is definitely hard to follow in Italian, though the opera house offers subtitles in English so we could read along–thank god.

Curiously, while I was reading about it, it seems like the plot was generally disdained by a lot of people for being too hard to follow. Found this info on Wikipedia, thought it was interesting, hahah.

Given the complications of the original plot and the generally poor popular response – although the critical one was more encouraging – the opera dropped out of favour after 1866. Finally, 23 years later, Verdi’s publisher persuaded the composer to revise the opera, with text changes to be prepared by Arrigo Boito, the librettist who aspired to work with the aging composer on a project which eventually became a new opera, Otello, but to which Verdi had not totally committed at that time.

The revised version of Simon Boccanegra, with the now-famous Council Chamber scene, was first performed at La Scala in Milan on 24 March 1881. It is this version which is the one most frequently performed today.

A recipe for a crazy weekend: Track racing, birthday dinner, the beach, horseback riding & Rock the Shores!!

Yep, that’s my weekend right there! Nobody ever accused me of wasting my weekends, that’s for damn sure 🙂

We started the weekend with dinner (steaks! yum) at my parents new house, and a walk to the beach from their place. It’s so close to the water, it’s lovely. They are really happy with the move they’ve made – from boring, blah old Ottawa- to a beautiful new place and unimpeded access to the beach.

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My parent’s card to me…

Saturday I rode Oats first in the ring, to hop over a few jumps, and then moseyed around the field for awhile watching some other riders have a lesson in the field. I’m taking advantage of the field access as much as I can these days. I zipped home after buying grain (ugh, had to drive out to Saanich right after riding to get it) and the weather was SO nice, that we headed straight to the beach at Dallas Rd, with Gidget in tow.

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Back to the field!

We chilled out at the beach for awhile and it was lovely. I couldn’t get too relaxed though, as I had to get home to gear up for my last track race of the season. Meet #3~ I wasn’t sure how things were going to go, as I’ve been battling muscle/leg fatigue on and off for a couple of weeks now, and been struggling on my runs to just complete them. General consensus seems to be: overtraining/overwork. Maybe, maybe…

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At the beach! 

Anyways, we hit the track and I signed up to do a mile, and the 3km. Maybe I got too greedy, because after my mile race (which went..okay I guess…) I was seriously lagging. My 3k felt like I was running in slo-mo, I was falling behind on the track and getting passed. It was kind of a piss-off, because I know I am capable of faster and of running a more competent race, sooo what gives??!!

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Hauling ass? Well, not so much!

I was kind of bummed to fall behind so much in my run, that I lost perspective of what was really the point here: Learn to sprint race without killing my lungs (actually that was a success, as I was coughing much less last night than I ever have!) and learn about pace.

I checked my results this morning, and my mile wasn’t even too shabby: 6:35, and my 3k was lame (13:12- I have run it under 12:30 …) but hey, in the grand scheme it is all a progression and not terrible.

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Sunday I went riding and jumped Oats over the small x-rails in the field= loved it!!! And then immediately felt tired, so walked up and down hills for awhile to build his muscles and give me a break.

I didn’t ride for long because we had Rock the Shores to get to! It was hot hot hot! Things that bugged me- drinks got INSANELY expensive- $8 for a beer? Eff right off with that!

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Rock the Shores from three years ago!

Crowds were good and very manageable, no line-ups, ice cream was lovely, poutine was sooo good and the standout bands were The Arkells and The Eagles of Death Metal. WOW!! Amazing performances, and class acts, both of them. Great sound, excellent vibes. One bummer- Metric really sucked. The sound was lousy, tinny and too high reverb. Also Emily Haines seemed to be doing this thing where she’s play 1 song, and then riff for 10 or more minutes on it…Combined with the lousy sound, it was so.boring. I really like Metric, but this was just…ugh. No thanks. We left early and I didn’t feel like I was missing a thing! Booooooo.

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My buddy and me from three years ago at Rock the Shores.

Got home pretty seamlessly and back to work today. I am tired! 🙂

Orchestra for the Moon

Taken from a Jenn Grant album title, (saw her on Tuesday), to provide a recap for this week: mixed results.

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Oh man do I want it to be summer!

Monday I had organized an equine counselling session, as I realized I was in need of a tune-up after my bad/good lesson on Thursday. For some reason, because I was feeling a lot of stress that week, I started making a lot of very negative value statements about my riding, my lesson, and everything– after what was, to be honest, not a terrible lesson. So what gives?

Turns out that I was likely trying to make that lesson resolve what I was feeling emotionally/ physically, and that just…didn’t happen. I was trying for redemption via my horse and jumping, and you know what? A big nope on that.

And it left me feeling discouraged, useless and like, unfulfilled. A good comparison would be my car: it was also breaking down last week and when it stalls or breaks down, I don’t immediately think I am a bad driver! I just think, well, time to get the car fixed. So jumping to the judgements after my ride because I am in a bad headspace and looking for my lesson to ‘cure’ it isn’t reasonable or good.

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My future!

Good to know! So, how to solve this? Answers to handling and managing my feelings are to make sure I feel grounded, get myself in a better headspace. If I know I am not, then to acknowledge it, and make do. Realize that I might not hang the moon on the first try, but that I am going to work it, and see how things go. Be honest with myself about how I am feeling, and be honest with my horse.

I went to ride Oats after my session on Monday and woooow…he felt terrible! So stiff, wouldn’t bend, head-flipping, coughing, didn’t want to canter, didn’t want to hold the canter…WTF? I tried to loosen him up in the trot with minor success and then got off. Can’t deal, that’s ok. It was also monsoon raining the entire day and I now think he literally spent the whole day standing in his shelter= not good for the horse.

Tuesday Oats had the day off, and Ian and I went to see Jenn Grant. She was lovely! She played Dreamer, which I liked off the Heartland intro immediately. A lot of her other songs were really cool, chill and she has a great voice. There’s something really heartfelt about her singing, and she seemed like a very funny and interesting person. My feet were killing me after though, I’m not used to standing around at bar shows hahah.

Wednesday I went to the barn with some trepidation. How was Oats going to be? I longed him briefly before my ride and he hates the sand ring, so he kind of refused to do anything but jog around. Hmm…I didn’t think it was going to go well.

Actually he surprised me! He was moving so nicely. But then…dun dun dunnn…The hopping and head-flipping came back at the trot.So WTF is this then? I puzzled over it for a bit and then realized…Oats is feeling cooped up, caged up. He wants (asking as politely as he can), to GO!!

So, I got up in two-point, and we cantered. And cantered. And cantered. And it was sooooo nice. He felt flowing, free, just really good. He clearly needed to get this out of his system! Then we could go back to the trot, and I popped him over a few x-rails, at the trot, and then we worked in between trot and canter. Just some flowing figures, big loopy circles, and he felt great.

Interesting…