Friday, 25 September 2009

Five Years

September 25, 2004

After a week of typical Vancouver drizzle the skies cleared up two days before the wedding, just in time for our rehearsal. It stayed beautiful all weekend long.

I spent my last night being single at my grandparents, the same house where I took my first steps, where I have a multitide of happy memories. My family promised to take care of anything left on my To Do list and I banished Bridezilla for good. My only job that day was to practice my vows (which we were doing in French) and to look pretty.

That's me with my Grandpa. He got me to the church on time in his fancy Cadillac.

My cousin Cari did our hair and make-up. I was so in love with that bouquet.

And the deed is done!

Our sunset.

Two days later we skipped off to honeymoon in Hawaii.

Man, even my FINGERS were skinnier. Sigh.

Who ARE those people? Where are the dark circles and white hairs and arm jiggles? Oh yeah, we had a life before we were parents! We were pretty!

Thinking back to that day, I can't remember a lot about the details. What lingers is gratitude for how our friends and family really made it spectacular. From my parents to my siblings to my Auntie Jean and Uncle Ray (who are celebrating their 35th anniversary this month!) to my Uncle Orin and Aunt Betty who made me cry for the first time on my wedding day when they delivered all the wedding flowers to Stéphane's family and our friends who travelled all the way from Montréal to my all-time best friend Julie (33 years of friendship and counting)
who brought me my something blue. Everything went smoothly, it was exactly the day we hoped for.
Fast forward to 5 years later. Older, wiser (?), greyer, parents. I look back now and think about what a gift it was to have had the luxury to devote so much time planning an event that was all about US. Just the two of us. I highly recommend it :)
So we are both home from work today and although I'm still in PJs, the plan is to go see the new Coco Chanel film and splash out on lunch. Simple yes, but for where we are right now (broke and sleep deprived), it's perfect.
Happy Friday everyone!

Friday, 18 September 2009

What Happens in Gatineau Doesn't Always STAY in Gatineau...

Liliane spent the weekend with her godparents (a.k.a. her most favourite people EVER) and while she was away THIS happened:

Translation note: (To- towch is Lili-speak for Toy Story)

I take some responsibility since we showed our baby Toy Story recently and have allowed her to watch it every day when we get home from daycare.

Stéphane is traumatized because she looks like a boy in her Buzz outfit. I think it's pretty hilarious but I think the next movie will be a little more... princessy. Hello gender stereotype! Welcome to our house! Make yourself at home!

I have SO MUCH to blog about and this is all I could come up with for today. I'm still recovering from spending 5 days at the Toronto film festival (and away from my kiddo which was WAY HARDER than I thought) and besides I have a John Hughes documentary to watch.

Plus it's the countdown to Liliane's 2nd birthday/housewarming party! It's a downhill slide until Christmas, people.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

TIFF - A glimpse...

I wove my way through the crowd jammed on the patio of the Bloor Street cocktail party, looking for my next networking opportunity.  Not seeing anyone I knew or thought I should know, I spotted a table and made a beeline for the empty chair, feet by this time crying out for relief.  I asked the young woman with outrageously long, feathery fake eyelashes if I could join her and gratefully dropped into the seat.

She looked up from her cell phone and showed me the photo on the screen.  This is my daughter, she said.  Isn't she beautiful?  She was indeed a beautiful child, something she had clearly inherited from her mother.  Her six-year old daughter, she explained, was spending the year with her Dad in Spain.  She had just finished having her for a year in her home province of Nunavut and was already missing her terribly.  While it was hard not having her child around all the time, she couldn't bear the idea of not offering her daughter the opportunity to live on the beach and learn Spanish, not to mention spending time with her Dad.  Who, she added, is a wonderful father. She asked if I had kids and I told her about my little blonde-haired dictator.  She asked her name and giggled when I told her we were going through that exasperating NO stage.  She swore her own daughter was never like that, she must have gotten lucky.  I reminded her that ALL parents get amnesia about the crappy parts of parenting, otherwise the world would be made up of single-child families.  Her laugh rang out in silvery peals.

What happened to your arm? she asked.  I burned my forearm on the oven door while making dinner the previous night and had not mentioned it to anyone, nor had anyone else noticed the quarter-sized red welt.

She confessed that she was really lousy at these kind of party/self-promotional activities.  But since she had acted and sung in a short film that was playing at the festival she was dragged to this particular industry cocktail by the filmmakers.  Movies weren't really her thing, she was into the music scene actually.  Turns out he name is Tania and she is a throat singer.  A throat singer of some renown apparently because she spends most of her time touring North  America and Europe.  Hence the Spanish father, I concluded.

I never imagined I would meet a twenty-something throat singer from Nunavut, not to mention one that could give any fashionista from New York a run for her money.  She had those ultra-stylish peep-toe booties and an equally chic outfit and bag to match.  Cool.  I got up to speak to someone who had approached our table and only saw her from a distance after that surrounded by equally beautiful and haute couture beauties.

After that it was more chit chat and introductions and two-cheek kisses (this was a Québec-hosted party after all) and the drama of seeing the wait staff eject a semi-violent interloper who had tried to join the crowd via the patio gate.  I knew all kinds of people there which made it fun, but it's Tania the throat singer that made the biggest impression.  Only at TIFF, man.

After a very very very late dinner we put our game faces back on and headed downtown to the night's hotspot: the Pravda Vodka Bar.  It was the post-premiere party of the Trotsky and man were we happy to have official invitations.  We waved our tickets and bypassed the bouncers and hangers-on at the door and stepped into one of the coolest parties this girl has ever been to. The film is about a high school student who believes he is the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky so the theme was... vodka.  The venue was this super cool bar, not too big, not too small, all baroque decor and socialist artwork, lots of red and gilt and did I mention the vodka?  Armed with martinis we went upstairs and caught a whiff of the smoked meat buffet that had been flown in from Schwartz's, the venerable Montreal institution.  Since it was about 12:30 by this time, we stayed away from the food and turned our eye to people watching.  We caught the film's producer, I spoke to the director, my friends Pierre and Ariel were there (Pierre worked on the film) and a bunch of bonus people from Montreal.  The music was great but LOUD so conversations were limited to yelling and gestures.  Fun fun fun.  We left at 2 - the first time in two years that I have been awake at that hour and not tending to my aforementioned blonde offspring :)

So that is TIFF so far.  No films just yet but casting this afternoon for our film.  You can read about our on the Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom movie blog .

No Clooney sightings so far, only a picture of him, Ewan MacGregor and Jeff Bridges from a press conference taken by a journalist friend of Tara's.  He apparently is extra-handsome in person and cracks a lot of jokes.

Tonight is a Telefilm cocktail and dinner.  Our evening is open so far, so who knows?  I'll try and recount any adventures in a post tomorrow.

Sorry, no pictures.  Forgot the camera.

Sorry, no Liliane either.  Stéphane assures me all is well at home.  He took her to get her bangs cut today and they're hanging out at the park.  An unsettling amount of people have commented on the fact that Stéphane is ALONE with the BABY.  ALL WEEKEND.  Hello, I feel guilty enough already, thanks!  Do I need to remind you people that he is half responsible for the little dynamo we created and can handle single-fatherhood just fine for a few days, thank you very much?  Merci mon amour :)

Got to get to casting session. Signing off from Toronto...

Friday, 4 September 2009

A Post Only A (My) Mother Could Love (edited to add photo of Matthew and Bari's street. Thanks Mom!)

And by that I mean that it's FULL of photos!  I have the day off today and have only just changed out of my pajamas after spending the morning reading a book and watching random movies on TV.  Pure luxury my friends, luxury.  I also emptied the dishwasher, put some laundry in and cleaned the dining room floor so let's not be too judgy here, shall we?
I will feel like such a big jerk if I don't get this post done today what with my whole day of leisure and all, so forgive my lack of witty captions.  The pix are pretty self-explanatory anyway. 

To summarize: we drove down to NYC a few weeks ago to celebrate my nephew Asher's arrival en famille.  My Mom flew in from Vancouver so it was an reunion of sorts (minus my sister, the Baby Guru who is having a birthday today! Love you!) and the first time Liliane got to hang out with a baby.
It was stinky stinky hot, the kind of heat where you say to yourself, hey, I should really get out the camera but then just don't because it's all the way down the hall and it's just too hot to move.  Suffice it to say that the party was super fun, the food was amazing and all the guests were adorable.  I did bring the camera when we snuck away from the festivities to go to the park, conveniently located a mere block and a half from Matthew and Bari's flat.
OK, serious techical issues with the new Blogger photo formatting. Anybody else ready to kick in their computer screen or is it just me?  I can't seem to move my photos around so I'm throwing in the towel and will now write around the random groupings...  Sigh.
This bunch is from Sunday night after dinner.  We spent the day out in the big city and completely forgot to take a family picture in Times Square to update our one from last year.  You know when you just have to accept that things won't be going quite as planned on some trips?  This was one of those trips.  (It started when our brand new portable DVD wouldn't play the ONLY DVD Liliane wanted to watch on the trip down.  How many times can you explain that you WANT so badly to play that DVD but just can't because the player is BROKEN and not because we secretly enjoy making you miserable? But I digress.)
Anyway, we accepted that our Times Square photo didn't happen so we went for a walk after dinner and Stéphane put our long lens on the camera so we can take a few photos of our Brooklyn walkabout. 
Matthew and Bari's street is the Greenest Block in Brooklyn!  I can't believe we didn't take a picture of the street (what am I saying, it was THAT KIND OF TRIP, okay?), but here is the sign that proves it!
Sunday as I mentioned we went into Manhattan and stopped into the big Toys R Us in Times Square and promptly hopped on the ferris wheel that's inside the store.  Yes, it's that big.  I was so glad to finally have a good reason to ride that thing!  Liliane wasn't too sure at first (having a My Little Pony car didn't assuage her suspicion) but she enjoyed it in the end.
I think these are from when we first arrived.  Hello baby! 
There's my Mom, Grandma of SEVEN granddchildren.  She's got the hang of it I would say.  This was a familiar site during our trip - she's the original Baby Guru.
So these are from Prospect Park.  The day of the party we snuck off with Christine and her daughter Maddie to the playground.  Maddie is a few months younger than Liliane so Christine knew exactly where to go.  I had a cute picture of Maddie but Blogger would not like anyone to see it.  Sorry about that.
On Monday we got ready to hit the road back home, this time with Grandma's laptop!  Hooray! No wretched malfunctioning DVD player trauma! 
These are some last minute pix of Liliane planting some goodbye kisses on  her cousin. 
What is happening to me?  Dad! She keeps DOING that!
And maybe nomming his fingers a little. 
And her most favourite activity of all: getting tickled by Uncle Matthew!  Asher was impressed by his Dad's multitasking skills.  Just you wait little guy.  Keep those little arms firmly clamped to your sides because the day will come when he asks "hey, what's under there?" 
Oops!  Back to the park!  Stéphane took this brilliant shot.  This one's for the calendar!
And that my friends was our trip.  Sorry about the disjointed and jumbly quality of this post, but you know, it's a good representation of how that little trip went.  Full of lovely moments and good food and not worrying about the details.  Like completely forgetting to get a family photo.  Whatever!  That's just how we rolled this time around.
As I mentioned earlier I am off work today, but the debauchery doesn't end there!  Liliane is going to spend TWO NIGHTS with her godparents in Ottawa.  We are meeting up with them tomorrow somewhere halfway between us and them (they are about a 2.5 hour drive from here) to do the transfer then Stéphane and I have two whole days of freedom leisure!  Irresponsiblity! The possibillity of sleeping ALL NIGHT with no interruptions!   I am dizzy just thinking about it.  On the schedule: FOUR, count 'em FOUR films, like in a movie theatre and everything, a little shopping, a pedicure, some bike riding and sleep. 
Next week I'll get on to the Parc Safari post not to mention the birthday party.  I will also be heading to the Toronto International Film Festival next weekend so I'll be updating my FB status with tidbits as we go.  George Clooney is rumoured to be coming to one of the parties I already have an invite to, so stay tuned!
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