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Merril Collection Filk Concert

I had a wonderful time last night at the Merril Collection filk concert in downtown Toronto. There was a terrific line-up of performers all singing on the theme "21st century filk". Cool to see how each filker interpreted that theme and I heard a lot of great new songs. I sang Seanan McGuire's "Missing Part" ('cause Firefly came out in 2002) and Lena Gabrielle's "The Peverell Story" ('cause The Deathly Hallows came out in 2007) and led a finale of "ISS (Is Somebody Singing?)". So much fun, and thank you, Peggi Warner-Lalonde, for organizing the evening.

Note: I have no idea how to edit photos over here anymore since Flickr stopped supporting LJ. Hope these turn out OK! I know they're too big :-/.

Merril Collection performersCollapse )

Save Your Stitches- Part 4

Save Your Stitches- Part 4 by Allisona
Save Your Stitches- Part 4, a photo by Allisona on Flickr.
Hooray, I've been having all kinds of trouble with Flickr, but it looks like I've gotten them worked out.

Here's part 4 (of 18) of the monthly blackwork project I'm working on right now.

Feb. 20th, 2014

Isn't this cute? One of my students stitched it and gave it to me for Valentine's Day. When I asked her how long she'd been stitching she told me it was the first piece she'd ever done. Pretty impressive! And I was touched she gave it to me. It's up on my teacher bulletin board now.


Not A Drop to Drink

Sigh, we haven't had water in over 24 hours. There are big trucks and machines working out on the street, but we don't know what's actually happened. We keep scooping containers of snow from the backyard for some water purposes, but it's getting very inconvenient. You don't realize how often you turn on a tap during the day until you can't!


Feb. 14th, 2014

Each year in February our staff has a gift card lottery. We each throw a ten dollar gift card in a hat and hope for the best! For two weeks two teachers a day are picked and taken out of the running. The last three teachers standing split the gift cards- 9 for first, 7 for second and 5 for third. I won! Yay! And here's my haul of gift cards!



Blah, bad cold, so I couldn't get down to the filk at Bakka Books today. Disappointed. One the other hand I just learned that Graham and Becca Leathers are going to be the guest of honour next year at the UK filkcon, which is awesome.


Spinach and Kale Soup

Made spinach and kale soup for the first time tonight and it was really good. Added some chicken, garlic, chili flakes, mmm. Still pleased with having read the book "The Calorie Myth", because even though I haven't gone to a total SANE food routine I've taken enough inspiration from the program to have changed my eating habits around radically in the last few weeks. Lots more veggies, protein and fruit and nuts, a lot less starches and sugars. And in a time of winter blues, small victories count for a lot.

Second-Hand XBox

So, in our never-ending quest to find motivating exercise in the winter we decided to invest in a second-hand Xbox 360 today. It's an older model, but since we mostly want it for dance programs and exercise programs it should suit our purposes. We had been using a Wii for that, but I always found the batteries weren't working in the wands and it would take a few hours to charge them up again, which worked against the spontaneity of wanting to exercise. The Xbox you just turn on and go. And we can dance and exercise without wands, which is good, too. I'm happy with where my food routines have gone in the last two weeks, so let's see if we can integrate the exercise back in there, too, at least until it's warm enough to start walking again.


The most fun iPad app I've played around on lately is "PianoMania". It's a step-by-step program on how to play the piano. What's cool about it is that when you prop your iPad up on your piano keyboard the app wirelessly reacts to your keyboard playing, streaming the songs for you to play and evaluating you on notes correct, timing, etc.. If the song is hard you can set it to stream just right or left hand notes for practice and you can set it to slow down or speed up as you get better. Each song also has a backing track, which makes adding your part more fun. It also has a lot of contemporary songs and seems to be adding more all the time. So you may end up practising songs by One Direction or The Fray or Psy, but that's OK :). It's free for the first few levels and then you have to pay by the month, six-month or year after that. Effective, though, and plenty addictive.


Allison Durno

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April 2014


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