Natalie Zed: Defying Gravity

Friday, July 14, 2006

catching up and getting up there

Last weekend, Ed, Tara and I attempted to go to the mountains. It was supposed to be a lovely weekend for hiking, so we though a long walk up to the Grassi Lakes just outside of Canmore would we perfect. We did the hike last year, and it was definitely my favourite -- hilly enough to be a challenge without being impossible, and with possibly the best payoff ever with the strangely green alien pools of beautiful water that are the lakes.

So we're driving up, and it's gorgeous.

We stopped in Canmore for breakfast (pretty darn good, even the bacon, though all the grease made us a bit sluggish). We take our time to let the meat settle, have a good talk over orange juice, and after an hour or so set out again.

And then this is what we see.

Forbidding black clouds suddenly billow in o'er the mountains. Knowing the weather can improve just as quickly it goes south, we bought some fudge then ducked into a used book store to browse and ride out the storm.

Then it started to hail.

We eventually gave up on the idea of actually hiking and, during a brief lull between sheets of rain, we scurried to the car and headed back home.

Then it REALLY started to hail.

More than once we passed people who had parked their cars beneath an overpass or just at the side of the road because there was no way in hell they were driving in THAT. We were dead certain Tara's windshield was a goner. Somehow we made it back to the house mostly unscathed, ducked inside, and I spent the rest of the afternoon reading my new cookbooks and starting Gene Wolfe's The Book Of the New Sun series. Two hours of driving for breakfast, a storm and some used books? Eh, alright.
* * *

So I'm 23 now. Thanks to everyone who called and said nice things and called me drunkenly to tell me I had to come out and party right now Woooo! This was a very low-key birthday -- no milestone, just a comfortable step in my early twenties. I spent the morning at the stampede grounds, ate an elephant ear, and got some sweet Nintendo swag from thr excellent DS booth flip flops designed like original NES controllers? awesome. Nintendo hat? brilliant. getting my ass handed to me by 10-year-old boys in wifi multiplayer tetris? Priceless..

After the most glorious nap in the world, Ed and I had dinner at Thai Sa-On ( possibly the best Thai in the city), and then saw The Phantom of the Opera at the Jubilee Auditorium. It was a surprisingly good production. All the principles were very good -- John Cudia's Phantom is clearly influenced by Peter Karrie, my favourite Phantom of all time. I don't think the Jubillee is really a theatre designed for the pyrotechnics and all the technical flummery involved in the show, but they did a fine job with what they had and it was a lovely night.

Yesterday, I had a great, productive meeting with Der Advisor regarding creative revisions to the THESIS, and think I have a real strategy to revisit some things that have been bothering me. A few things have died on the petri dish, and other need more space to grow. I'm quite excited about it. Also, as cool as the letter a is, I think I need to spend some more time with the o. They are holy doughnuts, after all.

Finally, yesterday I recieved what may be the best present of all time. In the history of the universe. My parents, my ridiculous, amazing parents, got me a RED KITCHENAID FOOD PROCESSOR for my birthday. The one I have been mooning over for YEARS. The one that matches my Prefessional Heavy Duty mixer. It PROCESSES FOOD and is EMPIRE RED. We picked it up today from Home Outfitters and I almost had a heart attack. Oh the hummus and pesto and perfect fluffy pastry I will make! I think her name shall be Martha. How could something so useful go by any other name?

Also, while we were at Home Outfitters, my brother informed me that the money my Mima had sent me was specifically intended to buy me a Kitchenaid Mixer in the same perfect colour, but after a quick look, I was a little out off by the price, and the capacity was lower than I really wanted. Right NEXT to it, however, was a Hamilton Beach blender, with a beautiful heavy glass bowl and flower-style blade, for half the price. And there sat a H.B. toaster. In the EXACT SAME beautiful enamel red. My brother very patiently played the sherpa while we got all the appliances to the car. In gratitude, he was bequeathed all my slightly used UNRED appliances to be used as soon as he gets his own apartment. Not a bad deal at all.

Am I a little spoiled? Definitely. Will all those around me reap the benefits of my having new food toys to play with? most definitely. I am thinking of having a party specifically to showcase all the delicious dips and salsas and chutneys I can now make with Martha. You bring the chips and bread, I supply the tasties. Do we have a date?
Natalie Zed updated @ 9:51 a.m.!!