Wednesday, November 24, 2010

i will eat turkey alissa i am...

When I moved across the border I swore to myself that I would continue living as an American in Canada.  I love this country and proudly call it home, but I do not consider myself Canadian.  In fact, legally my paper work declares me as a "landed immigrant," which in "Alissaisms" translates to,

"I plan on staying for a good long time."

So last year on that forth Thursday in November, on what would appear to be a normal day in the office for Canadians, my American roots were boo hooing, (and craving turkey.)

I decided between emails and meetings that moving forward we would celebrate Thanksgiving with our southern neighbours.  Yes, we would be that family who takes off Wednesday through Friday, pulls their kids out of school, watches the parade, mindlessly tunes into football, and eats a free-range organic supper-happy-before-it-died turkey.

and fast forward one year later...

Our intentions were bang on...but when an opportunity like this presents itself, things change.  Come on, who can say no to the Cat in the Hat?  Which means with Brian, choreographer extraordinaire, working all day and well into the night for Friday's opening, I have a dilemma.  Do I fulfil my turkey pledge and carry on?  With our without daddy?


Without sounding all cliche, the true meaning of Thanksgiving has nothing to do with the dinner we eat and everything to do with the company we keep.

My boys, too young to remember, will not care much about this year's Thanksgiving. But as their parents...we will hold onto every detail.  Their sour looks upon tasting turnips, their continued trips to the kitchen for samplings of stuffing, their oohhing eyes over the Macy's day parade and all it's wonder.  Do I really want my lasting memory to be..."remember that first US Thanksgiving in Canada without Dad?"

A circus without it's ringmaster.  Shitty right?

So plans are off.  Well more like on hold.  As I, 30 and turkeyless, have decided that it's time I take on this poultry challenge.  Plus we need a dress rehearsal.  And although our super organic, free range, happy-hippy turkey looks more like this...

and actually has a "parts may be missing" disclaimer on the label...a wee bit disturbing, it'll be the perfect test drive for next year's big to-do about turkey and all things thankful.

until next time - ABCD

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday - 8:45am

What do you see my love, what do you see...

when you look outside at the snow covered tree...

endless hours of play for you and me...

What do you see my love, what do you see?  

until next time - ABCD

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lesson from my 20-something years

In high school, yes we are going that far back, I had my eyes set on one career, one life path, one predetermined course.  I had no interest in attending a university, half hazardly taking a few general courses, until enlightenment struck me.  I was going to be a doctor, and that was final.  A general family doctor who would practice in northern Michigan after attending med school.  My future was carefully articulated and planned.    

To say I had worked my ass off to compile the most compelling college application package would be an understatement.  The grades, a must, were there.  I enrolled in every AP course our school offered.  I zeroed in on community service within the medical industry, volunteered at the hospital, even joined our school's science team. Which by the way placed 2nd at states.  I was a budding young doctor in the making with a creative edge just strong enough to help push me over the edge of the other applicants.

Of course, all of this made sense, before I actually started the course work.  The long lectures, boring materials, mindless reads.  Could this be?  Could I have been wrong? How could this career, so destined to be my future, and me not get along?

"I'm not sure I want to be a doctor," I remember saying to my parents.  "I don't know, it's just these classes are doing nothing for, no, it's not my's just they are boring."

Meanwhile, I was also hanging around the school of music.  I auditioned and made the university symphony.  I began to familiarize myself with the faculty, the courses, the students, the practice rooms.  I even changed my style swapping jeans and hoodies for long skirts and vintage teas.  I was a liberal at heart hanging around coffee shops and making cameos at local open mics.

"You know, I'm thinking of switching my major to music...violin performance actually."

And, silence.

It can't be!   This overzealous, overachieving, only-an-A-will-do type gal pursuing a bachelor of arts.  GASP.  Is of course what my parents didn't say.  Maybe what they thought, but certainly not what they said.

No, my (extremely conservative and successful) family stood by my decision.  They supported me - with front row tickets in hand.  Driving from city to city across Michigan, watching and applauding as I learned to utilize my talents and open new doors.

"What will you do with a music degree?," was often asked.  A question I couldn't answer, and didn't need to.  I was enjoying life.  The performances, concerts, auditions...all felt right.  My university years were some of the most meaningful in my life.  And somewhere in between Beethoven lectures and orchestra rehearsals I found self worth and confidence.

As these days crept to an end I can remember feeling that unavoidable "what's next" pressure.  As much as I wanted to, I knew I could't live in this music school bubble forever.  So, I started to prepare for auditions.  One of which stood out amongst the others.  Barrage, a musical theather show with an open call in Boston.  

I went to Boston.  I didn't make the cut.  Didn't even make it to call backs.  Disappointing sure, but little did I know, larger things were in motion.  A big piece of my life's puzzle was falling into place.  One which couldn't be planned or prepped.  For the person I auditioned for happened to be the show's art director.  That art director's name was Brian.  The B to my A.

A coincidence, maybe.  A direct result from changing my future career path, yes. Fate...definitely.

I'm turning 30 today, and I can honestly say that my 20's have taught me many lessons. Some more significant then others.  But, nothing holds more true to my heart then probably the most meaningful lesson learned of all - if lost on your way trust your instincts and change directions.

When plan A didn't work...I moved on to plan B.  And it's been a wonderful, both-hands-up ride ever since.
until next time - ABCD

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

2010 Holiday Ideas - Decorations

Here's the first of hopefully many more Circus Daily holiday gift list extravaganzas to come.  Figured I'd start by focusing on decorations.  Showcasing a few "hidden gems" which should help us into that it-comes-just-once-a-year spirit.

For our home we try to mix traditional with retro.  Keeping things light, fresh, and fun. Never too stuffy and overly ornate.  We only have two rules...or guidelines if you will.

1.  Decorations "unhibernate" every 3rd Friday of November.
2.  We don't take our mistletoe lightly.    

We also have a vintage Christmas wreath in our family.  However, just because it's in the family does not necessarily mean it's in our home, which needless to say makes it much coveted item between my sister and I.  And, although our tree comes from Mother Nature herself, I'm liking the idea of a toddler-slash-baby-slash-eco friendly wall decal for the boys room more and more.  

1.  Felted Wool Acorn Ornaments  2.  Personalized Reindeer Ornaments  3.  Where We Met Ornament  4.  Santa's Keys  5.  Muslin Cloth Advent Calendar  6.  Baby's First Christmas  7.  Eco Friendly Retro Ornaments  8.  Wooden Nativity Scene  9.  Vintage Kitsch Wreath   10.  Christmas Tree Decal  11.  DIY Matryoshka Advent Calendar   12. Mistletoe Kisses Card   

until next time - ABCD

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Is Zamboni capitalized?

"COME on...offside much?"  "Get your head out of your ass you moron."

Ladylike?  No.  But true.  These were the words muttered screamed out of my mouth last night during the Flames 2-1 loss to Detroit.  Our third in a row.  But, before I continue let me point out a few things...

1.  That I know when a play is considered offside.
2.  That I care.

Funny thing is, being from Michigan and not to far from Detroit you may have pegged me for a hockey fan.  But, truth be told, I wasn't converted until I moved to Canada.  Had you asked me a few years back what it meant to sneak one through the 5-hole, I likely would have taken you for a freaky pervert and nervously walked away.

But, when in what the Canadians do.  And, you just can't avoid hockey round here.  Sure, not all of us our fans, but most are.  Cheering for our teams like they hold the key to everything good in our lives.  When our Flames are smouldering, we Calgarians carry a weight on our shoulders.  We are grumpy.  We are irritated.  Last year, when the Flames failed to make it to the playoffs, this city wasn't just upset, no, we were someone-responsible-must-be-stoned-in-town-hall pissed.

Only hockey can ignite such passion.  After all it is our, (which tangent...I still have a hard time with saying "our..".since I'm a red-white-blue-born gal, but it's easier to just say "our" then, "my husband's country" blah blah), national winter year round sport.  Maybe comparable to college football, but with more camaradery and less teams.  Here not just the boys, but all kids, practically learn to skate before walking and jerseys size INF are given in place of onesies.

Already a die hard.

So as a self-proclaimed fan who can name our backup goalie, and sit at the table with the boys him-hawing over injury lists and over compensated players with little to show,  I say, "bring it" (along with the wings and gluten-free beer please)'s hockey season.  Now, if only I Zamboni  capitalized...and if so why?  Google away my away.  

until next time - ABCD
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