Colourful Sunday Afternoon

This past Sunday was Ottawa’s Pride Parade.

Unfortunately, by the time my daughter and I finally made it to City Hall, the parade was over and we only got to see the last float. I was pretty bummed but I was able to take a few pictures.

While I was doing that, a few photographers came and asked if they could take a picture of us. We said, sure. We posed for a few pictures for different photographers and then it dawned on me. It was Pride. They thought we were a couple! I finally understood why we were getting compliments right and left. People really liked that we were all colour-coordinated and that we were both wearing hats. Everywhere we went, people would smile at us and say something nice to us :)

That was cute.

My best friend – a non-Ottawan and American at that, asked me if the parade was some sort of protest or if they were fighting for their rights or something.

I said, dude, our Mayor was in one of the floats! He’s there every year. Because we’re cool like that! The Parade is just the culmination of Capital Pride, a week long celebration of equality and love.

Mayor Jim Watson and Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury. Photograph by Emma Jackson of Ottawa Community News

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When you get tired of drinking lemonade

*Warning* RANT ahead. Read at your own risk.

I am normally good about ignoring the bad things and focusing on the good things. Not in a “I-am-putting-all-in-a-pile-in-the-back-of-my-mind-and-OH-SHIT-WTF-is-this-monster-let’s-have-a-meltdown” kind but in a “If-I-have-to-do-this-at-least-I’ll-have-some-fun-while-I’m-at it” one.

In other words, I’ve spent all my life making [and drinking] lemonade. And that’s ok. I do have lots of fun as you all know. Sometimes I even make chocolate cake instead of lemonade.

Wish it were that easy

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Some people, really!

Grrrrrrr

This afternoon, someone posted on the Ottawa Swing Dance Society FB group something about a “fun swing dancing event for single professionals”. He prefaced it with “fellow swing dancers”

As an ex-executive member of the society and a teacher & DJ for so many years, I pretty much know everybody in the scene so I thought it was weird I didn’t recognize the name. Besides, the whole thing smelled fishy so I clicked the meetup link.

Oh surprise. The event description had complete paragraphs taken from the Swing Dynamite website!

Even after contacting the person and letting him know he was reproducing our content without our permission, some of the content remains.

He rearranged some things but he is still paraphrasing. And our most recognizable bit which is basically our catch phrase (For complete beginners–no partner required! yes, double dash and exclamation mark included) is still there.

GAAAAAAAAAAAH

He also has a picture there that I am sure I’ve seen before. Not one of ours but I know I’ve seen it before. I am sure he’s also using it without permission.

 

I like Cake

The Elgin Street Diner is the preferred joint for swing dancers in Ottawa. We like it so much, that we called our very first team the Elgin Street Stompers. I used to live on the same street as the diner and we used to have all the studio meetings there too. There was a time when we used to eat there four or five times a week. I hate cooking, in case you didn’t know.

These days, we end up there at the end of Jam Crew practice, at the end of the Saturday dances and every time we have visitors from out of town. Gotta take out of towners to try their delicious poutine!

ESD Menu - Page 4

Yum

Last time we were there, my daughter and I were in a playful mood (possible because we were stupid tired and very hungry) so we decided to grab the kids menus along with a couple of boxes of crayons.

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It started like this

As soon as I saw the cake, I knew it had to be Red Velvet cake. And the obvious conclusion was that it had to be for Sandee.

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Voilà, a Red Velvet Cake for Sandee! Sorta. Only had red, blue and green crayons.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite versions of “I like pie, I like cake*” by Ottawa native Gordon Webster. Now, I have to leave you cause it’s time to fly! And then go to the ESD afterwards.

*Which by the way is not about cake at all. Or the culinary abilities of the woman in question.

Elated

We didn’t win. We didn’t even place. But we got mad reviews from other dancers and great feedback from the judges.

But let’s rewind.

One of our teachers came to us with a project last November: A Short Showcase Competition.

We have several competitions during the year but they are mostly in the Jack & Jill format (you sign up alone and are assigned a random partner) or the Jitterbug format where you sign with partner but do improvised dancing. We thought a short Showcase competition was a great idea and went along with it. The date was set for January 19 and the number of entries was limited to ten couples.

Apparently, there was a void in Ottawa for showcase competitions (where you sign up with a partner and perform a choreographed routine) because as soon as we opened registrations, it got sold out in a matter of hours.

This were the Contest Rules:

  • Entries are two people
  • Any style of [swing] dance is welcome.
  • Original choreography is encouraged.
  • Music must be between 30-60 seconds in length.

My daughter suggested I did a Blues choreography with Stefan, one of our up and coming students. It’ll be a lot of fun, she said. I’ll help you with it, she said. So we registered.

Then Christmas came, I got very sick and my daughter went to Colombia.

That’s when I panicked. It was January 2nd and I didn’t have a song, I didn’t have a choreography and I didn’t have a daughter to help with.

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Sunday Adventures

The weather is finally cool enough for me to go on bike rides. So today, I decided to take my still unnamed bike for a spin.

I had put it in storage last year while I was between places and only got it back this week. I missed my pretty bike very much. I also realized the poor thing is in great need of a tune up.

But! One thing at a time.

Fred and I went for a two-hour ride. First, we took the Rideau River Path. Then we went back on the same path till Bank St, exit and rode along Bank till the Rideau Canal Path, which we took all the way back downtown.

The weather was perfect. Just the right amount of sunshine, breeze and temperature.

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Serendipity

A “friend” of mine was in Ottawa.  I put it in quotes because we started talking about 8 years ago in the Canadian Lindy Hop forum.  The forum had a thread for just women -the Ladie’s Lounge) and we used to shared a lot of personal stuff there, get great advice, vent, or just share dreams and goals.  It was great!

Then Facebook came and pretty much all Lindy Hop forums died.  The Ladies Lounge was moved to Facebook and conversations continued there.

Long story short, she was here so we decided to finally meet up in person.  We tried a couple of times but it didn’t work out and then finally on her last day in Ottawa we were able to make it happen.

As I expected, it was like getting reunited with a long time friend.  We had a great time together.

Buying locally grown produce at the Byward Market.

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