Well the month started off with a bang, as I flew to Cuba on the 1st! No April Fools pranks here, just running to make a connection after getting delayed and then having my bags not arrive and having to spend hours and $$$ to get them back. Did I mention Air Canada won’t refund me because taxis in Cuba don’t give receipts? Ok that’s technically a lowlight.
But hey, I made it! It was my second time in Havana and this time I was really there for some quality family time as much as anything else.
Oh…and my Dad’s wedding, of course! The ceremony was small, really beautiful, and quite relaxed all in all. I officiated – not really, but since the official signing was done earlier that day, I got to speak the words the bride and groom chose (and I spoke them in Spanish and English!) and also helped translate the speeches. It was pretty cool to get to be involved.
My Dad seems really happy and since he is, as discussed, my favourite person ever, I am so very stoked for him. His new family is also awesome, and we’ve added a grandma and another little brother to the mix.
I loved getting quality time with my Dad and my brother, too, even if it felt like a whirlwind trip. Guess I’ll just have to go visit again soon, right? 😉
Then no sooner did I get back and my bestie visited! Four days of laughter, drinking, food, fun, walking, and catching up. We don’t even have to do anything special or specific (though we always do!) and we have the best time. I am so grateful that, for now at least, we are close enough to visit a few times a year!
I also managed to get out to see TWO of the offerings from the Calgary Underground Film Festival; and though I enjoyed both, the clear winner was BandAid, a hysterical and sweet romp through married life in your 30s. Find it, watch it, prepare to laugh and then desperately hope someday you find someone to love 😉
The rest of the month was largely work focused, with a few fun days hanging with friends and my fave little man.
Due to the aforementioned week away, and a long weekend, and an upcoming trip to Scotland (!), work has been INTENSE. I felt more stressed in April than I have in about a year, honestly.
That said, it’s obviously worth it (hello, I’m not going to complain about awesome vacations and time with friends and family) and it also really reminded me about the importance of taking care of myself. A few weeks with hit-and-miss gym sessions and I was feeling a big difference in mental health and energy. I’m back on track now and feeling (mostly) on top of things again!
Learned how to unclog my bathroom sink drain sooo…I’m officially hiring out at $50 a pop! Get at me.
I also learned some basics about gardening at a gardening workshop I organized through my workplace and am stoked to try my hand at growing veggies and herbs again this year. My dad taught me the basics a few years back, but a refresh was definitely in order.
I really like to consider myself a Jane-of-all-trades, so these two items speak to my sincerest wish to be totally and completely independent in every way…
around the interwebs
Apparently there’s a Red Lobster cheddar biscuit lip chap!? I am horrified…and intrigued…
ALL of this. Travel or a Relationship: Why Are Women Having to Choose?
I read most of this book and part of another book and then realized they were both WAY overdue at the library and I was being charged every single day and now owe the public library enough money that I probably could have outright BOUGHT both books.
I’m not happy with myself. I will review the book I read most of, because I do have some thoughts, but you feel free to disregard me because I am missing perspective on about the last 80 pages…
Dirty Havana Trilogy by Pedro Juan Gutierrez – I took this book with me to Havana because it’s been noted before how I enjoy reading authors from the country that I am visiting at that time. Really adds to the experience. However I ended up with way less time than normal to read this trip and as such, didn’t get too much out of that part of the experience.
Now this book has won some big prizes so I’m loathe to criticize it…and there’s a lot of good so I’ll start with that. The book is written in a sort of stream-of-thought style which I always adore. The main character is frank, ridiculous, complex, and you kind of like to hate him which, hello Catcher in the Rye friends, I also love.
But the part I didn’t like is that the protagonist (and the author?) write about the black population of Cuba in a way that makes me very uncomfortable and frankly kinda pissed off, because I couldn’t really tell if this was storytelling or blatant racism showing through the pages. Now, Cuba does have a racial issue and it’s a hierarchical thing and I’m not going to even attempt to comment on that. So was the author just adding to that conversation, as an insider? Or was he perpetuating harmful stereotypes and spreading his opinions to a wider audience?
I still don’t know. But I didn’t finish the book, so who’s to say?
most liked Instagram
This one actually surprised me, insta-followers. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t peg it for most liked of the month. Noted!
The Rundown – March 2017
The 30 Day Photography Challenge continues (albeit I faltered a bit there)
Havana Experienced Through the Senses
SCOTLAND. And London. SCOTLAND AND LONDON. I can’t even say any more than that. I am beyond excited. Expect many photos and many blog posts upon my return!