Accounting for: March

Favourite art: Do Ho Suh, Passage/s (fabric rooms)

In March I was:

Working

I filled in for more than 4 weeks at another work site and only returned to my old job this week. I really enjoyed the change. I had been nervous going back because I had worked there 3-4 years ago and the staff are used to another manager now. But they liked working with me as opposed to a “stranger” because at least I knew them. I worked flat-out every day and it was energizing.

It was also a reminder about the health affects of work. I went back to spending 90 minutes a day commuting by car, compared to my usual 30-minute walk. I worked hard and the days were longer. I kept up with my morning workouts but had no time for walking. We had lots of snow and cold in March and I rarely got outside. After the first few days of dealing with new work issues, I was lying awake at night mulling them over. Back at my old job this week, I have already upped my fitness and started sleeping soundly!

Thinking About

…contemporary art. I’ve been looking up artists and learning about them and their work. Every day I have a new favourite!

Enjoying

I watched a bunch of new movies on DVD.

Manchester by the Sea – Great acting and exquisitely sad. I found it very suspenseful – what could he have done? Why was he so reviled?

Moonlight – An independent film with an all-Black cast; a harrowing story, and the character leaves so much left unsaid (also especially fine performances by Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris)

Jackie – I could not get over the voice of Jackie Kennedy and I had to look up historical footage to see if it was for real; it was. From start to finish, my impression of Jackie changed from seeing her as a vapid society girl and trophy wife, to seeing her strength under pressure. The movie was not 100% engaging, but it inspired me to earn more about her.

Loving – The true story of an interracial couple in Virginia who took their fight to have their marriage recognized to the Supreme Court in 1967. Interestingly, the couple were both quiet, steadfast people and the film was subdued. I am not sure if the couple experienced little racism from their families and co-workers, or if it was seriously underplayed. The location, set design and costumes were spot-on.

Rom and I were out for two concerts. One was a performance of my favourite piece of classical music, the Brandenburg Concertos, by our local symphony. Well, actually only 3 of the 6 concertos, because we weren’t able to attend two nights! I loved seeing it live and seeing what instruments were used and how it was played. The second concert had an unexpected twist. I had seen a local band about 10 years ago and described them as “a young Rolling Stones” to Rom. So we finally go see them and they have turned into a Celtic rock band, a la Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly! I had no idea they’d made such a change. But I wasn’t entirely surprised because those sorts of bands are super-popular here, almost the norm. And I am not opposed to such music either. One of their opening acts was our favourite local band, Like a Motorcycle. The other was a band with a guitarist whose parents I know, and it was fun to see the family cheering them on. It was a good night out.

Buying

Well, you know about the new car. That took up most of my spare time. I did some research, compared makes and models, considered new or used, got quotes on our old cars for trade-in or resale, and got quotes for a new car from multiple dealerships before making a decision.

I have a friend who sells cosmetics and skin care products and I asked her to come over and show me her line. Of course I ended up buying the works. The success is 50/50 since I am sensitive to some of the products while others are fine. I am very unaccustomed to using anything at all (just one light moisturizer, and sunscreen in the summer) and I don’t know if it will become a regular routine.

The reason I did this was because I went for a contact lens fitting this month and got some single-vision contacts that I can wear for sports, fitness and driving. I am not used to seeing my face naked (without glasses!) and it was a bit of a shock to see what I look like 😊

Not Buying

I am still trying to get by without an iPhone. I have a used one in hand, but it was bought in the UK and can’t be used without a SIM card from the original carrier – not even used as an iPod Touch (without phone service!) Talk about locked down. I may try to get it set up on my next trip to the UK so I can use it for wireless apps and music. I am not sure if I’ll break down and buy a new or used iPhone that can be used in Canada with cell service.

Doing

Since the snow and cold have continued all month (we had snow and freezing rain twice last week and more is on its way this week), I have been keeping the bird feeders full. I can’t claim to like all birds equally. I like to see the songbirds, but I don’t always like to see the proliferation of starlings, blackbirds and pigeons. I don’t get to choose, though!

I did tax returns for myself and my parents. We were all getting refunds, so I filed them early in the season.

Not Doing

Two things I didn’t do this month – no baking, and not much reading (2 books that took me 5 or 6 weeks to read) – uncanny!

That was March for me, lots of work and indoor pursuits. Tell me about your month!

23 comments

  1. I watched “Manchester By the Sea” on the way over to Japan, and “Jackie” on the way back. I agree with your assessment of “Manchester By the Sea.” So very sad. I read that one reason Casey Affleck got the Academy Award for Best Actor was because he nailed the Boston-area accent, which is incredibly difficult to pull off. I adored Jackie Kennedy when she was First Lady – so glamourous! – and the movie was very insightful, especially about how she found strength when she needed it. And “Moonlight” – we watched it right before our trip and it left us breathless – it was an amazingly beautiful film My husband and I are going to watch “Loving” tonight – it’s been highly recommended by several people. I’m still wanting to see “Hidden Figures,” but it’s not available for streaming yet, so I guess I’ll just have to wait!

    The fabric rooms sculpture is intriguing – I certainly could spend some time viewing it.

  2. I’ve been busy working on an assignment for my Community Histories subject. At this very moment I should really be writing about active and passive preservation, but here I am. 🙂

    I’m interested in seeing Jackie, but after reading your review I don’t think I will ask my husband to sit through it with me. He would if I wanted him to, but I don’t think I will ask. 🙂 I’m sure I will nab a time to watch it by myself.

    We’ve started re-watching Game of Thrones together, in preparation for the new season in July. We are near the start of season 2. It is lots of fun. I read the books years ago after watching the first few seasons and then my husband spent all of last year listening to the audiobooks while driving around the countryside for work. It is so fun to watch it again together, both having already seen the series so far and knowing the extras from the books. There’s lots of poking in the ribs at those little moments you miss the first time around, and ‘OMG! Did you see that? Do you think it means….?’

    Is it possible to get the phone unlocked from the UK carrier? Here in Australia you can get cheap phones but they tend to be locked to a particular carrier. It is usually a $50-$80 fee to get it unlocked and then you can use any SIM card. It might be worth paying a fee like that, rather than buying a whole new phone.

    • Hi Jamie, I found your comments in the spam folder – sorry! Hope you proceeded well with your assignment, meanwhile. I found Jackie was a talky movie and I wouldn’t recommend it to many, but it made me want to learn more about her and the times. I have not read the GoT books yet and I know I need to! I would love to re-watch all the series because I bet there is a ton of stuff I missed. I don’t see it happening before summer, though! I will bring the iPhone with me to the UK and get it unlocked on my next visit. We don’t have the same carriers here. I’ll happily pay the fee!

  3. You’ve seen some real blockbusters (from an Oscar’s point of view) this month – I should really make more of an effort as I have a stack of giftcards for cinemas. I decided to a month in summary thanks to you and timing (ie reading this post and having the bandwidth to quickly whip up a post)

  4. jbistheinitial

    It sounds like your UK iPhone is ‘locked’ – phones sold on contract to a carrier here are locked for the duration of the contract (don’t ask me why, it’s such a pain!). If, as it presumably is, it’s out of contract, you can get it unlocked by the carrier easily. When you’re next in the UK just take it into a store for whatever carrier it is, and they should be able to sort it out for you so you can put any SIM into it.

  5. Margie in Toronto

    Work: Not going back to work before the summer but started taking some new online courses and working on my resume. A friend is going to teach me how to get set up on Linkedin.

    Exercise: Not much as I was still hobbling with my knee. Surgery was March 21st and apparently they took something the size of a golf ball out of my knee so I am feeling much better and hope to get back to some serious walking by the end of April.
    I did attend some chair yoga classes and ended up really enjoying them – also hoping to get back to those by the end of the month.

    Reading: Got caught up on a lot of the Donna Leon mysteries that I’ve missed – found them at the library and now I just have to read the latest and I’m all up to date. Also started reading M.F.K. Fisher’s “The Art of Eating” which is an anthology of much of her writing. She is known as a food writer but it’s more social & cultural history rather than just the facts or a recipe. I love her style of writing and have been motoring through all her essays.

    Outings: Went to the CinePlex Events showing of the film on the life of Monet – it was wonderful! Also went to the AGO once – the new Georgia O’Keefe exhibit opens for members in a couple of weeks and I’ve already booked a members viewing time. Managed a couple of outings with friends for brunch and lunch – it was great to catch up.

    Shopping: Aside from groceries and drugstore supplies, I bought my first piece of clothing since September, needed some track pants to wear after surgery. Also bought two new books – a friend took me to Costco and I couldn’t ignore the great prices, even though the pile of “To Be Reads” is barely touched! I am finally looking for a new TV though – I’ve managed fine with my laptop and Netflix since the Fall but baseball season is about to start and I want to see my Blue Jays on a bigger screen. The first outing was not successful but I’ll try again later in the week.

    Paperwork: Since I knew I’d be a bit incapacitated this month I deliberately left taxes and a few other things to do this month.

    I’m looking forward to much more fun in May!

    • Hi Margie, Congratulations on your successful surgery. Your medical team must find you a model patient! I have read two of the Donna Leon mysteries so far. I put myself on a list to get notifications for Cineplex events recently, because I had seen ads for some good stuff (more films with one showing, in addition to the livecast opera and theatre). The Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit only runs until July 30 so I won’t make it 😦 You’ll have your new TV in time for the Stanley Cup, too 🙂

  6. If you like contemporary art and are coming to Toronto, check out the Power Plant http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/whatson/thepowerplant.cfm – They have an All Free All Year program.

  7. Pretty much all we did in March was move! I also took a long business trip (Tokyo & London), so between that & the packing, moving, unpacking. . . that was March! I’m very happy it’s April & things are starting to slow down a bit into a more “normal” pace.

  8. I love the word ‘energized’…so glad that the return to old work haunts had that effect (in spite of the commute.) It is amazing what a stack of dominoes a long work commute really is. Interesting to see that it had such an instant life impact with reduced exercise and corresponding poor sleep. After comparing the two workplaces so closely are you still glad of the move to the more local one? (I know you’ve mentioned that the old work was more ‘lively’ and central.)

    My month has been chaotically busy but I am catching up just the past few days as we are on Easter term break now!

    • Hi Fiona, I read your comment and forgot I hadn’t replied – sorry! Hope you are enjoying term break. If only my old job was in my new location, ha ha! I am going back for another week starting April 18 and I’m looking forward to it. Since it is definitely limited to a week this time, I doubt I’ll lose much sleep over it (I don’t have to figure out solutions to long term issues). Incidentally, my old work location is near Rom’s workplace so he gets a drive to and from work – significant bonus for him! We have planned out our meals for the week so we won’t be too lazy to cook after the commute time. Although I may be catatonic from Easter candy 🙂

  9. Jollyhollybanolly

    Hmm. I must be kinder to our birds: I used to always put seed out but I have been bad at it!! Redoubling efforts 🙂

    • Hi Holly, I bet you get most of the same kind of birds we do. It will be nice to show Iris the birds coming to the feeder, now and in the years ahead.

      • Jollyhollybanolly

        Yes we probably do. We have a couple of cardinals and a whole lot of sparrows and starlings!

  10. Mr S has been playing Drop Kick Murphies until I beg for a pause. “I get it! They’ve got s rose tattoo.”

    I’ve been busy. Also not reading much. Will blog soon.

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