I think (hope?) that spring is finally starting to arrive. Of course, I pick a day where there was snow on the ground this morning to say that, but I’m convinced enough that I swapped the snow tires off my car, so hopefully spring is properly here now.
My US taxes are kind of a pain this year for a variety of reasons, so I’ve decided to have an accountant help me out, which has been super pleasant thusfar. Hopefully we’ll be back to normal easyness next year, but this past year I definitely wanted an extra hand. It wasn’t even figuring out what to file, it was just that some of the forms I need to file are super annoying. I do think I’ll be able to wrap things up by the June deadline, which is good, I didn’t really want to file an extension again this year.
Wesley has started to properly walk now. He’s been walking while holding on for ages, but he just wasn’t comfortable letting go and taking steps unaided until recently (and I don’t blame him, as someone who still ice skates right by the boards to this day). He’s getting more confident with it though, and it’s super fun to watch. He’s a blast. He likes to dance and he likes cars a lot right now, and computer mice, which he also likes to drive around like little cars. 😀
Easter has come and gone, and it wasn’t quite as busy this year since we didn’t make the trip up to visit Trevor’s parents. It’s tough squeezing in family time around holy week services! And Advent and Christmas services, for that matter.
On the volunteering front, I have nearly got all my paperwork finished for Family and Childrens’ services- I should get my police record check back shortly. Then, next month, four evenings of training, and then I’m able to actually volunteer!
I got a new laptop recently, a Samsung ultrabook. I really love it. It has Windows 8, which I like more than I expected. It also has a touchscreen, which I am finding useful off and on as well. The best part is that it’s small, and weighs less than 4 pounds, so it’s super easy to carry around, while still being powerful enough for me to do work on it if I need to, or play video for a presentation or whatever. It tucks nicely into my laptop bag along with all my other junk. I’m a fan. I’ve been using it at work, since I have a desktop at work and the team loaner laptop is this huge heavy monstrosity that I don’t love carting around, and I don’t always have enough time to set up what I need on it.
Along with the technology vein, I also got a BlackBerry z10 a while back, and I’m a fan of that, too. I’m really coming around on the topic of touchscreens. The flick-up typing on it is super nice, and I love being able to peek into my email when I’m in another app. Overall, it’s pretty awesome.
https://www.jennyrhill.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jrh-logo.png00Jenny R. Hillhttps://www.jennyrhill.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jrh-logo.pngJenny R. Hill2013-04-20 23:35:192013-04-20 23:54:45April Updates
I can’t believe it’s already October! The leaves are all changed on the trees, the weather has cooled off and is beautiful, and we’re firmly in the season of pumpkin-flavoured-everything. The summer was nice, hot and fun but not too eventful for once. Here’s some updates about what has been going on over the past little while.
Photographer: Angela Clayfield
The Horribly Horrifying Fun House of Death has closed, and it went super well! I was totally hands-off once the show opened, so I don’t know all the details, but everything I heard was that the show went awesome. It was so nice to be able to work on a show without basically giving up my whole life for 2 months, especially since I have a little dude and other obligations to take care of. I didn’t want to just stop doing theatre altogether, especially when it meant working with people who are super awesome.
And don’t they all look so nice in their costumes, and the set was awesome as well! Thanks to Ange for the lovely photo- I wanted to make sure I had a shot of everyone in costume. 🙂
I went to the Grand Philharmonic Choir’s Sing-in on September 29th, and it was pretty fun. They’re doing the Mozart Requiem this fall, which I haven’t done in quite a while, actually- so it was really fun to sing some bits from it again. It was fun to see all my GPC friends again as well! Their concert is October 20, and will no doubt be awesome.
Church choir has started up again, and that has been nice. We had our first Evensong service last week, and are already hurtling madly toward Advent.
No, we’re not planning a big trip or anything, though we are going to the states in a couple weeks, because Wesley needs to have his NEXUS interview! Trevor and I both have NEXUS cards, because we cross the border enough that it was a good idea, but if we want to bring Wesley along, he needs to have one too. Next time we take a trip to or through the US (we often fly from there as it’s much cheaper), our border crossing will be faster!
So we’re planning to take him for his interview then, and do a little cross-border shopping as well (a good time to get Christmas shopping done!) I’m looking forward to it!
I signed up for yet another 5k race- this one is called the Santa Pur-suit, and requires that runners wear SANTA SUITS. This is AWESOME, and I am totally excited about it. It’s December 1st, so a little while away yet, but I can hardly wait. The race is close to my neighborhood, and requires dorkiness, so it’s like it was created just for me. 😀
https://www.jennyrhill.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jrh-logo.png00Jenny R. Hillhttps://www.jennyrhill.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jrh-logo.pngJenny R. Hill2012-10-05 19:05:542012-10-05 19:07:39October updates
I have been looking to see if I can see me anywhere in the video, but I haven’t found me! My name is in the credits at about 6:31.
https://www.jennyrhill.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jrh-logo.png00Jenny R. Hillhttps://www.jennyrhill.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jrh-logo.pngJenny R. Hill2012-04-03 13:18:462012-04-03 13:18:46Virtual Choir 3!
I mentioned a while back that I recorded a track for Virtual Choir 3, a project run by Eric Whitacre where huge numbers of people record tracks of themselves singing a part of one of his choral pieces, and they’re all mixed together to make this huge choral recording. It’s awesome. Anyway, I missed out on Virtual Choirs 1 and 2, but managed to make a recording for the 3rd by the skin of my teeth (they extended the deadline and I got my recording in that day)!
The actual video/recording is going to be released on April 2nd, but today they released a huge photo of all the members of the choir, and I found myself! Click on the picture to see everyone. I’m in the 4th row from the bottom, 25th from the left.
https://www.jennyrhill.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jrh-logo.png00Jenny R. Hillhttps://www.jennyrhill.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jrh-logo.pngJenny R. Hill2012-03-16 20:37:282012-03-16 20:37:28Virtual Choir 3
It has been a while since I wrote a post. I have obviously been busy with taking care of Wesley, but lots of other things have gone on as well. So I think I’ll use this post as a bit of a catching-up point, and hopefully start to write more regularly from here.
Obviously one of the main occupiers of my time lately is our new son. After some initial troubles with him eating, and him being jaundiced and losing weight, we’ve started to settle into a bit more of a routine, and his last checkup showed he’s doing quite well. He’s certainly not sleeping through the night yet or anything, but we’re definitely getting more sleep than we were at the beginning, which is awesome. He’s had a bit of a cold this week, which is unfortunate, but he’s doing well otherwise.
Once he is over his cold, I think we’ll start having more adventures during the day. As it is, we pretty much hang out at home unless there are doctor’s appointments, or we’re taking a quick trip down to the mailbox with him in his carrier. But starting next week I think we’ll go out to the library and the Early Years Centre and other places around town more.
I took a little video of him the other day- it’s just him flailing around, and then at the end he sneezes. He’s not really interactive yet, but he can still be fun. 🙂
I’ve been putting together an online baby book for Wesley that I’m sharing with my family (from scratch- I couldn’t find a service that did what I wanted) – I might, at some point, make a public version of it as well. It has been fun to put together!
I have to say, being on maternity leave is strange, but not quite what I expected. For those not aware, maternity and parental leave in Canada adds up to a year, and a parent on leave is eligible for employment insurance payments (like unemployment) for 55% of their normal salary, up to a certain amount. I’m about a month and a half in now, and have gotten my first few EI payments.
I think this system is how it should be everywhere. Parents are able to do all the caregiving for that first year if they want, I think it makes women more likely to return to work as well. I feel like I’m able to do what I need to do and still stay connected to my workplace, and I don’t have to worry that my job won’t be there when I get back. It really takes a major stressor off new parents who want to maintain the two-income household. I feel like a shorter unpaid leave would be a lot more stressful.
I’ve been singing, which has been good. I still have to convince my brain that I have my normal breath capacity back- my mind thinks I’m running out of breath a lot sooner than I really am, which makes me breathe more. But things are getting back on track in that area which is good.
I managed to record a track for Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir this time around, which was cool! I always wanted to do that, and I’m glad I got the opportunity this time. I’m looking forward to when the final video is released!
Back to the gym!
I’ve just passed 6 weeks postpartum, which is the time that people generally start exercising again. I probably could have increased my activity before now, admittedly, since I had a pretty decent recovery. However, the demands of a newborn and all that made it easy to hold off.
But today, I’m going to head out to the gym for the first time in a long time. I don’t have any expectation that I’ll be anywhere near where I was last year at this time (when I was training for a half-marathon) but I think a brisk walk and some weights will do me good! I might look into taking up yoga again as well. I still have some pregnancy weight to lose, so increasing my activity will definitely help with that, as well as being a great mood-booster. Definitely excited.
In the past couple weeks, we’ve put the finishing touches on the nursery (and it’s becoming quite nice in there actually, I don’t mind hanging out there for late night feedings). There’s a rocking POANG from IKEA, some printed out pictures on the wall in inexpensive frames, and I hung up a nice quilt we got from a relative. There’s a small hanging drying rack for diaper covers, a bookshelf with a little stereo to play music, a few books and toys. Right now his bassinet is still in there, since he’s not sleeping in the crib yet (we’ll be transitioning him this week once his congestion clears up- the bassinet mattress is slightly angled so he can sleep easier with his cold).
We’ve been planning to finish the basement for a while, and we’ve finally gotten started on that project, in that we’ve picked a contracting company and put a deposit down. Work will start in March, and it will take about 5-6 weeks. I’m hoping the weather is decent during that time so that if it’s loud or what have you in the house, I can head out for a walk with Wesley.
We’re putting in a bathroom and a rec room type area down there, plus some storage space. It should increase the living space in our house quite a bit, as well as make it easier for us to have a proper guest room and a decent play area for Wesley. I imagine once it’s finished, we’ll be spending a lot of our time down there.
The current family room will become a double office for Trevor and I, and Trevor’s office will be the new guest room.
So my office is already moved to the current family room- once the basement is done, the family room furniture will go down there, and Trevor’s office furniture will move in here. I’m actually considering seeing if a moving company would lend us a couple of guys for an hour to move the furniture around our house- I’m not looking forward to negotiating all the stairs with a couch.
I think that’s enough for now! Hopefully I’ll write more often so that this doesn’t become a monthly thing. 🙂
https://www.jennyrhill.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jrh-logo.png00Jenny R. Hillhttps://www.jennyrhill.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jrh-logo.pngJenny R. Hill2012-02-02 16:15:452012-02-02 16:15:45Catching up
So I got some really awesome stuff for my birthday- a gift card for the spa so I can get a massage, and some homemade cinnamon rolls (yummmmm!). But I hadn’t gotten anything for myself yet! Until today.
I got a guitar! I’ve been wanting to learn, and now I have my very own! Now all I need to do is build up lots of calluses on my fingertips. 🙂
https://www.jennyrhill.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jrh-logo.png00Jenny R. Hillhttps://www.jennyrhill.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jrh-logo.pngJenny R. Hill2011-09-24 01:43:202011-09-24 01:43:20Birthday present to me!
Over the weekend, I managed to run a whopping 13.3 miles (that’s a tiny bit longer than a half-marathon, or Pikermi, as some call it). It was definitely hard, but I did it! I ran a route that took me through town, so I was dealing with traffic, and a number of different surfaces- trails, asphalt, concrete.
Now that I know I can do it though, I’m going to think about when I’d like to do the half-marathon as a race. There’s a marathon and half-marathon in town coming up May 1, but The Odd Couple is closing the night before that, so the likelihood of me being properly rested for it is pretty well nil.
There’s several others coming up though that I can consider, and lots of shorter races- I’m already committed to doing a 5k Fun Run on May 29, and another 5k in July, and I can always do some 10k races here and there.
Speaking of The Odd Couple…
I’ve been doing a little bit of running crew work for The Odd Couple, which is going into its final week of the run this week.
It’s a good show! I wish I could watch it properly, but I’ve been pleased to get to work on it in a backstage capacity. I’ve gotten to meet some great new people, and hang out with others I had already met but didn’t really know. Good stuff!
This past weekend, we sang Bach’s St. John Passion. The concert went really well. I don’t find myself enjoying St. John as much as I did St. Matthew, music or text-wise, but it was still quite good. Rufus MÃ¼ller was fabulous as the Evangelist, as expected, and the turnout was pretty good.
I voted at my advance poll last Friday, because May 2 will be a little too busy for me to drive across town 2 extra times in order to get to my polling place. It is my first federal election as a Canadian! I was excited to finally get to vote in the country where I’ve lived for the past 6 years. We’ll see how the election turns out- the reports thusfar are quite varied.
https://www.jennyrhill.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jrh-logo.png00Jenny R. Hillhttps://www.jennyrhill.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jrh-logo.pngJenny R. Hill2011-04-26 19:26:082011-04-26 19:10:39April 26, 2011 Updates
Last week and weekend was pretty awesome. I got to do a bunch of cool things.
Guster and Jukebox the Ghost
Last Thursday, I went to a Guster show in Toronto (Guster being my favourite band of all time). They played at the Phoenix Concert Theatre– they’ve played there before and I believe we’ve been there for other shows as well. It’s a nice venue, I appreciate the balcony, because I am often too short to see anything at club shows.
Anyway, the show was good! The opening band was seriously awesome. They’re Jukebox the Ghost, who I hadn’t heard of before, but I have quickly become a fan of their music and their little ghost logo. I like their songs, and appreciate the use of keyboards/synths and harmonies and yeah, they were a pleasure to watch.
This was the first show of the tour, apparently, and the first couple songs in Guster’s set had a bit of that first-show grit to them, but things cleaned up quickly and the show was awesome overall. We got an actual encore! I haven’t been to many shows that went beyond the clearly-orchestrated encores.
The club wasn’t as packed as the last time they played there, which I actually liked because it meant I got a spot on one of the couches instead of leaning awkwardly against the wall. Maybe that means I’m getting old. 🙂 Though I’m sure the bands would have appreciated more tickets sold. Anyway, it was a good show, and both bands are highly recommended.
Elmira Maple Syrup Festival
On Saturday, at stupid-o-clock in the morning (or whatever time it is that exists before 7am) I went with some friends of mine to the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival. It was only my second time going, I went for the first time last year. It seems that the key is to go really early (before 7) or really late (11) in order to avoid a ridiculous line for pancakes.
We got there just after 7 and there was a line, but it wasn’t bad. It was really fun! We got pancakes, and I bought some summer sausage from Kitchen Kuttings (my favourite summer sausage in the world, seriously) and we I got some syrup and red pepper jelly, and got dumped into the world’s largest sap bucket for a photo, which was pretty great. I had a lot of fun! The weather was really good, which helped a lot.
I finally went to see KWLT‘s production of Frankenstein, and had a great time. I was there as an usher, which got me a free seat, and I definitely enjoyed the show. I particularly thought the Creature was really well-portrayed- I was scared and found his plight really compelling at the same time. I was there closing night, so I got the benefit of crashing the strike party after as well, which was a great way to end the day.
This weekend, I’m bottling two batches of wine- one is a particularly awesome Gewurztraminer-Reisling, and the other a blend that I don’t remember, but I heard good things about. So I’m looking forward to that! I’m also going to a outreach event for choir, essentially an open rehearsal where people come and sing with us on some repertoire we’re working on (currently the St. John Passion). Plus, the weather is supposed to be warm, so I’m excited!
https://www.jennyrhill.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jrh-logo.png00Jenny R. Hillhttps://www.jennyrhill.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jrh-logo.pngJenny R. Hill2011-04-09 01:33:372011-04-09 01:33:37Updates on Life and other Happenings
I finally saw The King’s Speech this past week, and it was awesome! And not just because of Colin Firth. 🙂 The costumes were really quite splendid as well, the screenplay was good, the acting was superb. I really enjoyed it.
This week also brought some very welcome above-freezing weather. Up to 7 or 8 degrees a couple days in a row! A lot of the snow melted, and everyone got a taste of that mental and physical perking-up that spring brings. It was awesome. I went out without my snow boots on! There’s something really awesome about the first day you can go without snow boots or a coat. Even if it is in February and the winter weather is still going to come back again before spring arrives properly.
Was back at the gym this week after a few weeks of not going, as well. I did lose a bit of speed in those couple of weeks, but I managed to get through one long-ish run last night (just over 6 miles) so that was good. I needed it.
Starting to work on the St. John Passion in choir. I never thought I’d say this (being a long-time anti-Bach type) but it’s nice to come back to Bach. I think I’m just now starting to realize why the big Bach fans feel the way they do. It’s a different challenge from the 20th century stuff we’ve just finished, and there’s something very comfortable about baroque tonality, even if the actual singing can be quite difficult sometimes.
https://www.jennyrhill.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jrh-logo.png00Jenny R. Hillhttps://www.jennyrhill.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jrh-logo.pngJenny R. Hill2011-02-19 18:40:302011-02-19 18:40:30Movies, weather, music, and running
Lots of other things going on for me right now- so continuing in that sort of “blurb” format! Enjoyable Outings: I went to see Back to the Future on the big screen at the Princess Cinemas on a couple weeks ago. It was awesome. That movie was such a huge part of my childhood, and it was awesome to see it in the theatre- I was too young to have done so when it came out. Aside from the big screen and sound, the audience and experience was awesome. Everyone clapped when George McFly decked Biff, and at the end! I haven’t been. in a theatre that applauded in several years, it always adds to the magic.
Last weekend I went to a ceili for the first time, which was so much fun. For those not familiar, think of like, Irish square dancing, I suppose. The music was great, and the dancing was fun (I actually remembered some of the dances from years past) and I totally want to go back again. It was near Robbie Burns day, so I got to try haggis! It wasn’t bad, but I probably won’t seek it out int he future. 🙂
Both of those outings were in relation to friends’ birthdays- so yay friends for having birthdays!
Yoga: I was taking yoga classes at my work, from a co-worker who teaches at GoodLife gyms in the area. She’s stopped giving classes at work, so I was kind of looking for a new place to go, because I really enjoy it. I thought about just going to the GoodLife classes, but couldn’t seem to get out to do it, and I was looking for something with a little more to it than just the exercise/physical aspects. I tried out the community class at Queen Street Yoga last night (after Stacey recommended it), and it was pretty awesome. Definitely going back. I might add in some classes from GoodLife as well, but Queen Street has a great space, and the approach is a lot more body/mind and not so much just exercise.
Theatre: I’ve made a deal with myself that I won’t do any theatre for a while. I’m planning on working on a show next winter, but between now and then, I’m going to just take some time away. I work on projects for KWLT outside of shows (specifically the website), and do so much other stuff that I wound up not having enough time for myself or my friends or family, and that’s lame. So taking a break. Should be nice!
Choir: There’s a concert coming up for choir, and I’m finding this season that I’m starting to feel a little choir fatigue. Maybe it’s just the way this season shook out, and maybe it’s just because I’ve been overwhelmed with other things, but That said, the upcoming show will be awesome, and I’m looking forward to that and the rest of the concert season. I just wish there wasn’t so much work to do between now and then. Video Games: I started playing Starcraft II, and it’s super fun. I’m not very good at the game yet, but I did start playing a custom map called StarJeweled, and I am pretty good at that! Basically you play a game of Bejeweled and that lets you build units and stuff to beat the other players. It’s really fun! If anyone wants to give me some tips on how to play proper Starcraft, feel free. I’m good at building stuff, but not at winning. 🙂
I also bought Dr. Mario on the Wii over the holiday and that’s pretty fun. We played it like crazy, all New Years Day!
Other Games: Playing my first in-person game of Diplomacy this weekend. I’ve played online with people before, but never with the board and in person. It’s a long game, and I’m not great at it, but it should be fun!
https://www.jennyrhill.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jrh-logo.png00Jenny R. Hillhttps://www.jennyrhill.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/jrh-logo.pngJenny R. Hill2011-01-28 22:45:222011-01-28 19:03:56Life and other things