P.R. Zed

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May 26th, 2015

11:55 pm - MediaWest and Footie
I got back from MediaWest last night in just enough time to inhale the dinner the Sweetie had prepared and dash off to the pitch for our first soccer game of the year. The games are now 7x7, on a bigger field, and using nearly a full-sized net. I thought the bigger goal might result in higher scores, but the need to run a bigger field seems to have evened that out. And I'm trying to really enforce positions this year--three up, three back at the moment, though I may move two to midfield--because otherwise they're going to kill themselves running up and down the field.

We seem to have a solid team, with a few really good players, a bunch of really solid players, and one who's never played before and is a combination of really enthusiastic and a wee bit clueless. (One of my clueless first time kids last year turned into a killer defense player, so I have hope. *g*) They all seem to be nice kids, and so far the parents seem lovely too. Fingers crossed that all continues.

Ros volunteered for goal in the second half, and then complained that she only got to touch the ball three times. The Sweetie and I pointed out that this meant the defense were doing their jobs.

Oh, and we won! 0 - 2.

As for MediaWest, it was a lovely, though rather more low key time than ever before. The registration is very much down, there were function rooms that barely got used for panels, and the dealer room is a ghost of its former self. Though I did get a fun t-shirt, "Sarcasm is My Super Power", because it totally is, and a Captain America watch, because Cap!

But the main reason for going to the con has always been the people, and many of my favourite people were there. We had Pros panels and a Pros party. I attended a Big Bang Theory panel, that may have convinced me to give the show another shot. Maybe. (Hi, Krisser!) There was a visit to our favourite Mexican restaurant, Los Tres Amigos, followed by a viewing of Mad Max: Fury Road. Which is just as amazing as everyone has been saying.

I've been saying this is my last MW, and barring a miracle I think that's going to hold, but at least I feel like I've gone out on, if not a high note, and really satisfying one.
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May 21st, 2015

12:24 am - Week O' Concerts
It's been a good week for concerts.

Tonight, Stewart Copeland was playing at the Royal Conservatory's concert hall. He's started a sorta improvisational classical ensemble along with pianist Jon Kimura Parker, and they were doing a program of both Copeland's own compositions and pieces ranging from Bach to Prokofiev to Aphex Twin. Since I was seeing it by myself, I indulged in a first row seat, and ended up right in front of Stewart's drum kit.

It was a fantastic concert, and made me vow to see more classical concerts at the Conservatory. Their performance space is fab, they always have good people in and it's only ten minutes from my work. I really have no excuse.

On the other end of the spectrum, on Sunday night I went to see Kaiser Chiefs with a friend. As always, Ricky and the gang were fantastic and totally know how to work the crowd. As a bonus, they followed up I Predict a Riot with The Who's Pinball Wizard. The friend I went with is also a huge Who fan (we're seeing The Who's farewell tour this coming fall) so it was the icing on a very tasty cake.

I was happy to make the Kaiser Chiefs show, because on Friday and Saturday I'd been flattened by one of those colds that made every joint in my body ache. Fortunately it had progressed to the point of just being annoying by Sunday.

Tomorrow, I leave for MediaWest for the last time. I've been going since 1994, with a couple of breaks for Ros-related reasons, but with fewer people coming every year it seems like a good time to call it a day.
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May 14th, 2015

11:41 pm - Bits and Bobs
I booked a Harry Potter walking tour of London through Muggle Tours today. It runs from London Bridge to Leicester Square, so it'll cover some cool territory even without the Harry Potter thing.

The Sweetie has taken to singing "My Patronus" to the tune of "My Sharona." He is evil.

Finally saw Age of Ultron tonight. I liked it. Not loved it (at this point I think that would have taken lots of Steve moping about Bucky, and then him and Sam going off to bring Bucky into the Avengers fold, followed by lots of OT3 sexy tiems, but then that's why I read fanfic) but liked it a lot. What I did love was Paul Bettany as The Vision. And I thought Natasha and Bruce were sweet together. But I was rather annoyed that Jeremy Renner being a sexist ass on the Marvel promotional tour has rather soured me on Clint Barton's character, because Barton was basically a good guy in the film.

I got Ros and I tickets to see a Canada v. England friendly match on the lead up to the women's World Cup. Still a little bitter that the world cup is in Canada, but Toronto doesn't get any games. WTF, FIFA?

Soccer season is gearing up. I'm coaching Ros' team again this year, and I've drafted the Sweetie to be lineup guy again. He's even got an official coach t-shirt this year. I picked up the uniforms yesterday, and will be meeting the team and handing them out on Saturday morning. It'll be my fourth year coaching, and yet again there are no kids we know on the team except for three of Ros' friends who requested Ros as their teammate. (Getting the four girls on the same team is totally awesome, though. The club's head coach definitely likes us!)

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May 11th, 2015

12:59 am - Adventures in Harry Potter, Part Three
I've recently finished reading The Prisoner of Azkaban to Ros, so tonight we watched the movie. Just as Harry and Hermione are going to go back in time, Ros asked us to pause so she could take a quick bathroom break. Which gave the Sweetie and I time for this conversation.

Sweetie: ::whispering:: So, is there a lot of Black/Lupin slash?
Me: Oh. Yeah.
Sweetie: I figured. Because OMG, they hug, they make sacrifices for each. Wow.


In other news, I've booked our visit to the Harry Potter set tour in June. We will be arriving in England four weeks yesterday, and I can't wait. We're also taking the water taxi to and from the O2 for the Take That concert, which is going to make an already awesome evening just that much more fun.

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May 6th, 2015

12:00 am - Happy Birthday, draycevixen
I've been horrible at keeping up on everyone's birthdays this year, but had to wish Drayce a happy one!


Hope there were many margaritas for your Cinco de Mayo.

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May 5th, 2015

11:51 pm - AO3 Top Hits Meme, 2015 Version
Time for the latest version of this meme, because I'm always curious as to what's getting read.

List your ten fics at AO3 that have had the most hits.

No new stories this year, but there"s been shake ups in order...Collapse )

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May 3rd, 2015

11:24 pm - Cookie Project
With the ice show done, I thought there might be some relaxing in order, or dealing with the clutter that's crept into the house in the last few weeks.

Instead we ended up working on a purely fun project. The Sweetie's work is having a May the Fourth Be With You party tomorrow, and he volunteered to bring some Star Wars cookies. The Sweetie made the cookie dough, I turned it into cookies (I love sugar cookies, but man, they are a pain in the arse to roll out), I put together some designs, and then we all did our best to make some round cookies look like various Star Wars characters.

Full points if you figure out who/what they're all supposed to be. *g*

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12:44 am - Ice Show 2015
This was the week for Rosalind's ice show, so that's pretty much been my whole week. There was a full run through on Tuesday, dress rehearsal on Thursday, one show Friday night, and a matinee and evening show today.

I volunteered in the dressing room for the dress and the Friday night show, which meant working with four or five other parents, depending on the night, to make sure twenty-four little girls had their skates done up, their costumes on, and their helmets buckled, getting them on and off the ice with minimal chaos, and making sure they kept occupied when they were not on the ice with the least amount of mayhem possible. Last year I only volunteered one night and felt wrecked at the end, but this year I made it through both nights okay. I think knowing what to expect--i.e. constantly being on call to answer questions and help little kids with everything from making sure the safety pins holding the flowers on their costume was securely fastened to holding the door on the toilet cubicle in the slightly battered arena dressing room we were assigned.

Ros had a great time, and was ecstatic that I let her wear makeup for the show. (She saw kids wearing it for last year's show and has bugged me all year to let her get some.) Since it has literally been decades since I've worn makeup, that meant getting her some eyeshadow and lipstick in not too garish colours. Here's a slightly goofy picture showing the results:

I let her practice with the makeup herself between shows today so she could bring it and put it on herself without me in the dressing room. I predict many upcoming battles on why she can't wear makeup all the time. She's growing up so fast! ::sigh::

The Sweetie and I had tickets for today's matinee, and I have to say the club does a really good job at putting together a good show. I'm amazed at how efficiently they get large groups of little kids on and off the ice, especially given what I know about how crazy it is backstage. From the stands it all looks effortless.

I took the good camera to try and get a picture of Ros on the ice. That was a bit challenging, given that I also wanted to enjoy those three minutes as much as possible. This one didn"t turn out too badlyCollapse )

During this section they formed a wheel with four spokes spinning around. After many interesting screwups during rehearsals, including a rehearsal where Ros' line managed to go through another line, they pulled it off for the show. It helped that Ros' line finally put Ros at the end. For the rehearsals they kept putting the smallest kid at the end, and since the end skater has to go the fastest, the poor kid kept falling.

Ros' number was called Sunshine, and the song they used was Sunshine Day, which I only realized after several weeks of watching rehearsals was sung by The Brady Bunch. YouTube has helpfully supplied a video of the song from the show. There's a blast from my childhood.

Tomorrow there will be much relaxing, and then on Tuesday the spring session of skating lessons starts. Yikes! At least we get the summer off.

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April 29th, 2015

12:12 am - Take That Tour Pic
Take That's tour opened last night, and after about five seconds of debating whether to avoid Tumblr so I could see the show unspoiled in June I caved and went looking for pics and a setlist.

It looks like they've done their usual batshit crazy/amazing design job for the show. Like this: Pic under a cut to save those with more willpower than me; hi Halo!Collapse )

I showed the pic to the Sweetie, who has been facing the prospect of attending a Take That show with all the fortitude of a man facing his own execution. He was actually impressed.

Sweetie: Wow, I'm sort of looking forward to this show now.

We'll have him singing along to Never Forget yet. *g*

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April 27th, 2015

01:07 am - New Romantics and Take That
At the last minute today, the Sweetie informed about a screening of Soul Boys of the Western World, a doc about Spandau Ballet with the band in attendance for a Q&A afterwards. I was never as big a fan of Spandau as I was of Duran Duran or The Police, but I'm totally a child of the '80s and have a huge soft spot for True, so with the Sweetie's indulgence I had to go. The doc was great fun, and a fascinating look at the scene that spawned the band and the New Romantics movement. And because I got there only 30 minutes ahead of the screening, there were only seats left in the front two rows, which meant a bit of neck craning during the screening, but put me right in front of the band for the Q&A. The Q&A was 45 minutes, and fascinating. Martin Kemp is still a very fine looking man, and the rest of them are smart and funny. I was very pleased when Gary Kemp took down the local DJ who was interviewing them for suggesting the '80s were a very "me" decade, when the doc had shown the effect of Thatcher on England and the working class lives they were all escaping, not to mention Band Aid and Live Aid.

Now I'm seriously considering grabbing a ticket to see the band tonight. Hmmmm.

There were also Take That hijinks in our household this weekend.

First I found a few pics of a small secret gig that band did on Friday.

Which led to this conversation.

Me: Wow, Howard looks like he just did a gig in his jammies.
Sweetie: Let me see! ::looks a pic:: You go Howard! ::said very admiringly::

Then on Saturday I followed a link on Tumblr to a gallery of Take That pictures from the past 25 years. Ros insisted on going through all of them and seeing if she could identify the boys. She consistently got Mark ("because he's the shortest") and Howard, mostly got Robbie, but regularly mixed up Jason and Gary. I am sort of disturbed that she managed to successfully identify both Howard and Jason in this pictureCollapse )
FYI, Howard's in the orange; Jason's in the blue.

The Sweetie decided he was going to get in on the game, and successfully managed to identify all five members of Take That in this pictureCollapse )

In order he managed to get Howard ("because he's a handsome, handsome man"), Mark ("because he looks like a waif that a strong wind would blow away"), Robbie ("because c'mon, he's Robbie"), Gary ("because he looks like a jerk"), and Jason ("because he's the only one left"). He loses points for the Jason jab. (ETA: Okay, he loses a little for the Gary jab, too. Though I have to admit that while I don't think Gary is really a jerk, I can never entirely warm to someone who's an avowed Tory supporter.) He also ended with this comment:

Sweetie: I'm blaming you for the fact that I can now identify all of Take That.

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April 18th, 2015

12:04 am - Bits and Bobs
Even more than usual, I've been swamped. At work we're gearing up to implement a big project that I'm going to be doing all the documentation and training for. And my new boss, who I mostly like (mostly) is STRESSING ME OUT. By doing things like asking me to plan out what the training will look like when we still have no earthly idea what the system even looks like or how it's going to change our business processes. ::deep calming breaths::

At home, Ros is her usual busy self. By the time we get her home and to bed most nights I am utterly shattered. Which is frustrating because there's tons I'd like to watch or read or write. I've been doing a lot of staying up too late attempting to write, poking about on Tumblr instead until I stumble to bed like a sleep-deprived zombie.

But there's still good stuff going on, so this is a catch up post before I completely forget it all.

I'm back in full swing at Taekwando, and as of yesterday the hematoma has finally stopped hurting. Yay!

I hit a little milestone on AO3 this week. My Yuletide story for this past year,
The First Time 'Round, is my first story to hit 100 kudos. Not huge by some standards, but it's kind of satisfying. I'm just amused that it's a one shot, Edge of Tomorrow fic that got there first and not fic in one of my major fandoms.

A couple of weeks ago we took Ros to her first actual concert: The Decemberists at Massey Hall. Here's the picture she let me take of her in our seats while we were waiting for the show to start:

We wanted to take her to a gig before the big Take That show so she could test her new (pink!) ear defenders and get a sense of what a concert is like. (Seven weeks today we'll be leaving for England!) The Decemberists seemed like a good band to try her out on because they were, for the first time ever in Toronto, playing a soft seat venue, and they're a pretty genial live band. She did okay, but conked out three songs in, and only woke up for The Mariner's Revenge song at the end. Which is a good song to wake up for because as well as getting the audience to scream for the giant whale attack in the song, they now have a giant foam whale on stage that "eats" the band. Trust me on this, it's hilarious.

The Toronto Film Fest's Kid Film Fest is on at the moment. Last Saturday we took Ros and a friend to see Shaun the Sheep the Movie. (Or at it is in the credits: Shaun the Sheep MOVIE.) Which the girls enjoyed immensely, and so did we. Tomorrow we're taking Ros and another friend to the fest for a Looney Tunes program preceded by a pancake breakfast. And tonight we watch the second Harry Potter movie. Ros has started nitpicking all the things they change for the movies. Our little fangirl!

And finally, the rehearsals have started for Ros' ice show. The theme for the year is the Seasons, and Ros' number is Sunshine. Last weekend was also the picture day for the ice show, and I have to say that Ros" costume is adorableCollapse )

And now I must crash.

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April 8th, 2015

09:12 pm - Really the Last Badgers Post of the Year
I know I said no more Badgers posts, but this really is the last one.

The NY Times had a pretty good article about the Duke game that came with some very interesting pictures that might be relevant to some of your interests.

First, Badgers players Kaminsky and Gasser commiserating after the game.

Second, two of Duke"s players celebrating after the winCollapse )

I know, right?

It's a good thing I'd never stoop to writing RPS. Oh, wait...

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April 7th, 2015

11:25 pm - Adoption Day 2015
As it turns out, I didn't make it to tonight's Taekwando class. Tomorrow is the anniversary of us adopting Rosalind, so tonight we took ourselves to Mongolian Grill to celebrate.

The only picture we managed to get with all of our eyes more or less openCollapse )

And here"s toddler RosCollapse )

We usually get Ros a gift for Adoption Day. This year she gets to pick out her own Birkenstock flip flops, which she has been bugging me about for at least a year. I think we have the only eight-year-old who'd rather have shoes than toys.

In other news, whilst poking around my LJ to look for old pics of Ros, I found this comment in the wake of draycevixen pointing me to halotolerant's TG fic:

I have a sudden desire for a time machine so I can show 2009!Zed just how much TT slash 2015!Zed has written. ::cackles hysterically::

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09:52 am - The Last Bucky Post of 2015
I had my regular acupuncture appointment last night, so I stayed up late to watch the Wisconsin v. Duke game so I wouldn't be spoiled today on the outcome.

I was really hoping the Badgers could pull it off. Not only because they're my team, but because I don't think Duke needs yet another NCAA title. Alas, though it was a really good game and the Badgers led by as much as 9 points in the second half, they sort of fell apart at the end and Duke took the title.

In other news, after five weeks off, I'm going back to Taekwando class tonight. I haven't mentioned it, but remember that surprise angiogram I had that flattened me for a few days? Well, I ended up getting a hematoma at the incision site. (For those of you who are lucky enough never to have had one, that's a big swelling of built up blood.) It was surprisingly painful, and since it basically meant the major artery they'd used for the angiogram was, in the words of a nurse I work with, "leaky" I didn't think throwing a bunch of roundhouse kicks was going to be the best thing in the world for it.

There is still a tiny bit of swelling, but at least I'm not limping around anymore and by this point I gotta figure the leakiness is fixed. Fingers crossed.

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April 5th, 2015

12:32 am - Another Badger Post
We're up at my mom's for Easter weekend, but she indulged me so I could watch the Badgers play Kentucky in their semi-final Final Four game. Given that Kentucky hasn't lost all year and they seem to play a faster game than Wisconsin, I thought this would be the end of the line.

It was a tense game, and both teams played well, but the Badgers made it through! So there will be one final Badgers post for the year after Monday's game.

It has otherwise been a nice relaxing Easter weekend. There's still a ton of snow up here, but it was sunny, though with a really biting wind. We went out for a nice walk on the waterfront today with my oldest friend. (We've literally known each other since we were babies.) We decorated some Easter cookies. And we played a lot of board games. (I decisively won a game of Monopoly last night, which I never do, but got killed in Settlers of Catan this afternoon. Ros won a close game of Masterpiece.)

Hope you're all having an equally lovely weekend.

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March 29th, 2015

11:27 pm - More Badgers, and Assorted Solo Parenting Things
I've only had a few minutes online this weekend. The Sweetie has swanned off to L.A. this weekend to attend the TCM Classic Film Festival (which given how many times I've swanned off to cons he's totally owed) so it's been a Mom and Ros weekend. Which has been fun--there was a Taekwando belt grading for Ros on Friday night, and the One of a Kind craft show, bowling with a friend of Ros' and her dad, and Hockey Night in Canada yesterday--but utterly exhausting. Every night I've planned on getting some writing/watching/computer time in after Ros' bedtime and every night I've ended up crashing along with her. Ros ran out of steam herself this afternoon (probably due to late night hockey watching followed by an early morning wake up--she insisted on getting up at 6:30!--and running around with a friend for an early afternoon play date) so I enforced an on-time bedtime and thought surely I'll get a bit of time tonight. But no, I'm apparently still knackered and crashed again.

All you single parents out there have my total respect.

I did, however, carve out an hour in between laundry and dishes when Ros was at her friend's place to watch yesterday's Badgers game. They took on Arizona, and while it wasn't quite as nail-biting a game as the UNC game, but it was still a great game and the Badgers players made some lovely plays. And now they're on to the Final Four for a second year. They're taking on Kentucky, so I'm not going to count too much on them taking it all, but I've definitely enjoyed getting to watch so much basketball.

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March 27th, 2015

12:37 am - On Wisconsin!
Wisconsin played UNC tonight, and wow, it was a tense, great game. The two teams kept trading the lead, and for a while I thought the Badgers were sunk, but they really pulled it off in the last five minutes. On to the Elite Eight!

In other news, we nearly had a Harry Potter emergency yesterday. Ros and I are just about to finish the Chamber of Secrets, so I popped into the big Indigo bookstore near work to pick up the Prisoner of Azkaban. Not only didn't they have it, but their database showed none of their stores in Toronto had it either. And they only had The Deathly Hallows of the other books. And they weren't taking orders online for Azkaban, and neither was Amazon. Looks like the publisher is in the middle of changing editions and we're caught in the middle.

Fortunately I called our last remaining mini-chain bookstore, and they had Azkaban and all the other Potter books at a store not too far away. So I dashed up there last night and bought the lot.

We finished reading the big climax of Chamber of Secrets tonight, and man, that was intense. We'll be on to Azkaban tomorrow. And after the Sweetie told Ros about his boss' family going to the Harry Potter park in Florida last week, she's pretty insistent that we have to go back to Florida for our family vacation next year. Awww, my budding fan.

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March 22nd, 2015

11:57 pm - On to the Sweet 16!
Another game, another chance to use the non-Winter Soldier Bucky icon. *g*

Just like they did last year, Wisconsin played the Oregon Ducks in the second round. Wisconsin led almost the whole game, but it was still tense, with Oregon staying close the whole time and Wisconsin's best players not having their best game ever. (The Sweetie thought it was cute how much I was yelling at the TV. Especially since I was watching a tape delayed game.)

But we still won! (It's the Badgers over a bird yet again.)

On to the Sweet 16 and UNC's Tar Heels.

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12:12 am - New Icon...
...because several of you have pointed out that there is a Bucky that is not a Badger.

And also because I've been reading a bit of Bucky/Steve fic of late.

And finally because just_ann_now pointed out there's a sequel to This, You Protect and I've spent the evening devouring it whilst Ros watches Hockey Night in Canada. Team-Building Exercises is just as funny and heart-breaking as the original, and I lurvvvv it.

(If anyone else has any Captain America fic recommendations, I'd love to hear them.)

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March 21st, 2015

12:48 am - It's Badger Time!
Another March, another batch of basketball madness and it's time to dust off the Bucky icon.

Wisconsin is a number one seed this year and were playing #16 Coastal Carolina in their first game. It was slightly tense in the beginning, but by the second half they were pretty much killing the Chanticleers. (Moral of the story, never send a bird against a badger. *g*)

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