July got off to a bad start when the Canada Day fireworks were postponed for a week, and one of my cats went missing for five days! Fortunately, everything looked up after that, and it was one of my most celebrating-est months ever!
First of all I got to celebrate Luna coming back home: the prodigal cat!
Then, just to show how nerdy I am, I spent an entire day in the blazing sun cleaning out the shed and I really enjoyed it.
Rom and I went to two music events this month. We chose an event during Jazz Fest – an evening of experimental and ambient music, with Bing and Ruth as the headliners. They are a collaborative from Brooklyn which includes piano, bass, cello, 2 clarinets and someone doing tape delay. Their whole performance was a single composition, which was partly improvised. It sounded like film soundtrack music, but more organic and “human.” The concert was in a specially designed concert hall which I hadn’t been to before because they don’t do rock shows there!
Later in the month we went to see Rush. Pretty much everyone in Canada has grown up with Rush in one phase of their career or another. I have to confess I haven’t actively followed them since 1982 (before half of my blog readers were born) but I still consider myself a fan. Over the years, Rush went from singing about science-fiction themes to social commentary and philosophical leanings. Their concert was 2.5 hours (with an intermission) and was accompanied by original film clips throughout. The stage set had a steampunk-inspired theme. The audience was mostly people “of a certain age” with their teen and adult children, along with the usual assortment of bikers, metal heads and stoners.
I managed to see two movies on DVD this month, both light fare suggested by my co-workers. On discussing how much I love movies about India (and especially Indian immigrants), it was recommended that I see Outsourced. All the jobs in a young professional’s office are being outsourced to India, and he is sent there to train his replacement. Is it any surprise that it ends up being life-changing? After going to see Rush, another co-worker suggested that I see I Love You, Man, because it has a cameo by Rush! It was the story of a guy whose fiancée has a large group of friends, and she shares all of her intimate details with them, but he has no personal friends at all. So everyone sets him up on “man dates” so he can make new friends, with amusing results.
After two months of lacklustre fitness performance, I stepped it up in July. My well-loved elliptical machine bit the dust after 8 years of heavy use, and it was replaced. I love the new machine and I’ve been setting new goals based on all its fancy electronic features. Next, I had been thinking of getting a pair of inline skates, and finally took the plunge. My neighbourhood is too hilly (I am not so great at stopping quickly!) so I went to the public skating time at the outdoor speed skating oval. It was fantastic! I can hardly wait to go back. I got out my jump rope after it had been hiding in a closet for a decade. I decided I would jump to a count of 100 the first day. I have since done this several times, and each time I feel less like I am going to die
Finally, I joined a group on a 2-hour hike one Saturday. I wish I had done this long ago. I hardly ever spend time outdoors! There was an experienced hike leader, and great views, to boot.
Rom bought a new board game that I had shown some interest in. We had our first game of Pandemic this month, and I highly recommend it – even for just two players. You work collaboratively to rid the world of a disease outbreak! OK, we are well and truly nerds…
July 18-28 is our local LGBTQ Pride Week. At 11 days, it’s almost a Pride fortnight! At my library, we have an LGBTQ –themed read aloud night for adults which is really popular, and uncensored! A local sex-positive shop sponsors the event and arranges locally well-known readers. I look forward to it every July. The Pride Parade was last Saturday, and is one of only two huge parades in our city. The Pride Parade here is unusually family-friendly and everyone brings their kids and dogs and grandmas. I only saw one guy in buttless chaps and one in a diaper, LOL! But it was a rather cold day to be dancing to Cher on a float in one’s tighty whities!
As a month-end bonus, we scored a pair of after-market (read: $$) tickets to see John Cleese in September.
I don’t know why, but this ended up a great month for reading. We had two weeks of scorching sun and two weeks of torrential rain, so that would do it!
My books read were:
Overdressed: the Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion – Elizabeth L. Cline, reviewed here
Zero Waste Home – Bea Johnson, reviewed here
Mrs. Robinson’s Disgrace: the Private Diary of a Victorian Lady – Emma Summerscale
A real life Victorian wife makes the mistake of detailed her affairs – real and imagined – in a diary which her controlling husband finds, and he sets to work to bring her to ruin.
Filthy Lucre: Economics for People Who Hate Capitalism – Joseph Heath
This was a recommendation from Fiona at Declutterer. Despite the title, it thoroughly discredits every economic argument from both the left and the right. I have read loads of popular economics books, and Mr. Heath enjoyed debunking all of them (he hated Freakonomics!) Despite my prior knowledge, some of the content was too in-depth for me to follow, but I liked being challenged.
Sex Pistols: the Graphic Novel – Jim McCarthy and Steve Parkhouse
I have a project of reading last year’s top 12 graphic novels. This wasn’t on the list. Luckily I know a lot about the band already. It focused on key incidents from their career. Someone without any background on the band wouldn’t be able to make much sense of it. For example, it showed a frame of Margaret Thatcher and noted that she and her policies had not come along yet. I am sure that younger readers would have no idea who was being depicted.
First Spring Grass Fire – Rae Spoon
Rae is a musician who has performed locally and I found out about them from Link, although I never got to see a show. Rae grew up in a fundamentalist religious family, and also had a father with serious mental health issues. It did not go over well when Rae turned out to be genderqueer. This is a book of biographical short stories which touched my heart on every page!
LoveStar – Andri Snaer Magnason
This is my current e-book read. It’s a humorous sci-fi with a detailed future world in which everyone’s perfect match is chosen for them, and there are devastating financial and social consequences if you refuse to obey the matchmaker!
As you can see, July could hardly have been a better month. Happiness is everywhere!