Sunday, September 29, 2013

Recent Stuffs

8:02 sunrise
19:39 sunset

Feel like I've been a bit all over the map lately; not in a bad way but just a bit more scattered than usual.

I dyed my hairs again, this time a bleached blonde.  I was highly uncertain that I wanted to let my stylist (even though I luuuuuurve her) bleach my locks but then I decided, what the hell.  It really is only hair. And I love it.  I feel like a little nordic elf and a colleague told me it looked very modern, which jazzed me.  I came home right after having it cut and I took lots of photos of myself wearing one of the vintage dresses I bought last summer.  That's normal, right?

Also, I have ventured into the very scary place of taking singing lessons.  As part of Fit for 40 I promised myself that I would try to learn something musical.  As a kid, I was never put into piano lessons (which was really common with other kids my age) and no one in my family (aside from my paternal grandfather) participated in musical lessons or activities.  The closest I ever came to being taught music was in my grade 7 and 8 elementary classes where, in the early 1980s, music education was still considered part of core curriculum. We sang, in younger grades, and in grade 7 we learn to play a wind instrument of our choosing (I started with the alto sax and moved on to the trumpet).  In grade 8 we were given the opportunity to play a stringed instrument (I chose the double bass, mostly because I didn't want to be 'girlie' and play the cello).  I remember being taught rudimentary (and I mean really basic) sheet music reading (Every-Good-Boy-Deserves-Fudge) and a lot of words and ideas that still sort of mean something to me (time signatures, measures, rests, clefs, what a whole note vs a half note looks like when you draw it, etc).  But in a nutshell - I was and still am - a music theory and performance neophyte.

I never cared about this, particularly.  My version of pre-teen geekdom was not band club.  I was more interested in visual and literary arts then, something that has remained true to this day.  But, if getting older means poking around in areas of my life where I haven't spent much time and pushing myself into uncomfortable places in order to experience personal growth, then I am going to try.  But man these voice lessons have been nerve-wracking.  Don't get me wrong, my teacher is lovely and kind (and she has a beautiful voice) but it is really, really hard to put myself out there in a public space - even if public is only a little music room in her house.  We aren't following the Royal Conservatory of Music's program but instead she is teaching me how to strengthen my range, tone and ear through exercises and selected songs. I'm actually kinda interested in some of the music theory but for now I am happy to just soak up anything and everything she wants to teach me.

At the moment, my voice feels like too much of an extension of my identity.  I try to think of it as an instrument that I have never learned to play but when I hear myself - and I often sound quite bad - it is hard to push through and keep trying.  I'm embarrassed at how I sound, even though I know I should give myself a break, keep trying and just be patient.  I've only had two lessons so far and I have just one song and a whole bunch of posture/breath/stance/range exercises to work on but, for now, that's enough. I'll mention that I have also joined my instructor's pop choir, which is starting to be fun as a I start to relax. It's a good balance with the lessons because I can hide among other people and there is something kinda fun about singing with other people.  I've never been in a choir so this too is new for me.

What else.......... I haven't been riding a ton over the last couple of weeks but I am okay with that.  The days that I have been out have been full of fall colour and I am again feeling so much love for the place I call home.  We had a really fabulous summer weather-wise and so far that has continued into fall.

Goat Trail - September 22

And in a week I am going on vacation - which I am really looking forward to.  Plans have come together sort of last minute but I'll be spending ten days between Vancouver, Victoria and then Portland.  I'll be visiting friends in all three cities and I am looking forward to catching up with them.  Truth be told, I am also excited about eating at good restaurants and imbibing yummy cocktails.  Oh, and this place. I am pretty excited to spend a bit of time trying on some fabulous frocks.

 By the time I get home it will be the very tail end of finter and I will have to turn my mind towards snow and cold weather. Maybe, just maybe I'll be ready for it this year.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Race Report: Klondike Road Relay

7:13 sunrise
20:32 sunset

Well, I didn't quite make my Klondike Road Relay goal time of sub 1:10.  I was close though, and I really did try.  I ran as fast as my legs and heart and limited training would allow and I finished the 12.5km princess leg in 1:11 and a few seconds.  I'm happy with my effort but slightly disappointed that I couldn't mange to go just that wee bit faster.

In good news - I discovered that The Naked and Famous' song The Sun is perfect for running.  I didn't quite get my music playlist right this year but that one is a gooder.  I'm going to try and continue running over the fall and winter though and maybe next year it will finally be time for me to challenge one of the longer, harder legs of this race.

At the finish of leg 3. Note my tiara, tutu and finish line cider. Being on a hash team is serious business.