Taylor and I went to see Fantastic Mr Fox on Saturday night. We both really liked it- it was cute and clever and I thought the changes to the plot added nicely to the story rather than detracting from it. It was a book I read over and over when I was young and I’m happy that Wes Anderson didn’t ruin it the way Hayao Miyazaki ruined my all-time favorite childhood book, Howl’s Moving Castle.
The movie was playing at the Fifth Avenue Cinema, where we’ve had a lot of Date Nights. Normally we walk there but it was raining pretty hard and we were running a little late so we took a cab over, but after the movie the rain seemed to have slowed down so being the super-genius that I am I decided that we should walk back downtown. Over the bridge. For half an hour. Did I mention it was raining?
Clearly this was not the best decision I’ve made in my life. Once we got onto the bridge it was so windy and cold! There was no cover and all the cars were sending up huge clouds of fine spray, and I was wearing my duffel coat with a hood that doesn’t stay on very well and non-waterproof boots. Water was pouring down my face and dripping off my nose and seeping into my socks, but I had to laugh because I’d really brought it on myself. About three-quarters of the way across I asked Taylor if he minded going home so I could change- we had plans to go to The Templeton for dinner and I didn’t feel like sitting in a restaurant in my own personal puddle.
Once we got home though, I didn’t really want to go back out. It was cold and wet out there but inside was warm and cozy, with fuzzy animals that wanted to cuddle and the Christmas tree full of twinkly lights that I’d just put up that afternoon. After changing into dry clothes we got as far as the front gate before I asked “Do you think maybe we should just stay home instead?” A quick trip to the market for some food and twenty minutes later we were curled up on the couch in our pajamas with the cat and the dog and some books and another movie to watch. Just two posts ago I said “it’s very important to spend quality date time with your husband”, but sometimes it’s just as important to spend quality regular time too.
The ingredients: non-fat milk, egg nog ice cream, some rum from last Christmas’s nog and my brand new, never before used blender.
In the blender, mix four to five generous scoops of ice cream, half a cup of milk and what he claims was only 2 ounces of rum. Pour it into a glass and sprinkle a little nutmeg on top. We didn’t have nutmeg though; this is cinnamon, which Taylor says “will do in a pinch.”
I asked him how it tasted and he said “… Confusing? Like a thicker than normal rum & eggnog? And you can definitely taste the booze, I mean, the nog does a good job of masking the rum but it’s still very boozy.” That does sound confusing. He also said he could have done without the milk as it made it too runny, and he already added plenty of liquid in the form of rum (I knew it was more than two ounces!).
When you’re old and married with a kid like I am, it’s very important to spend quality date time with your husband so that the two of you don’t end up sitting on the couch in your sweats watching tv every night (five nights a week is enough for that). Between work (especially as we are on opposite schedules) and life and parenting it can be difficult, but lucky for us, my daughter spends three nights a week at her father’s house, giving us plenty of opportunities to go out and have Date Night.
Our most recent Date Night was actually a Date Afternoon. Last Sunday Taylor and I crossed the bridge to go check out the Ravishing Beasts taxidermy exhibit at the Museum of Vancouver. It runs until February 28th so if you live here you should definitely take the time to go check it out; admission is only eleven dollars (cheaper than a movie!) and the exhibit itself is amazing.
“No animals were killed for this exhibition. They were already dead.”
This dog was at the bottom of a glass case and when I bent down to look at his dog face I almost burst into tears, he looks so sad.
I loved this piece; the picture really doesn’t do it justice. It was in a really dim area and all the reflections on the dark plexiglass look strange. It’s a kind of large-scale diorama of a coyote- you can’t see it but at the bottom there are rocks and fake plants and resin poured to look like a little stream.
This little fellow was from the same section.
There are tons of other displays, including the sad old lion from A Night at the Museum, a huge rhinoceros head and an even huger moose, some intensely creepy bears, horrible specimens preserved in jars of alcohol, an entire wall of mounted antlered/horned heads, a passenger pigeon, and a great horned owl with a wonky eye that made him look like my fat cat Claire. Most of the pieces are really old (the earliest is a swan from 1896) and rife with arsenic so you can’t touch them, but there was one mounted deer head that you were allowed to touch and it definitely made me feel very uncomfortable to do so.
We also checked out the permanent exhibit, which is a history of Vancouver from the mid-nineteenth century up until the 1960s. Here I’m pointing out our house on a map from the 1890s.
I’ll start by saying that originally this blog was going to be called The Starlight Life. Why The Starlight Life? “Life” is obviously because it’s going to be about me and my life, and I got “Starlight” from the name of my business, Starlight Family Childcare.
I chose Starlight for my child care in August of 2006, after months and months of agonizing over the name. I wanted something a little cute, a little whimsical, but I didn’t want to go the Fuzzy Bunny Cuddle Buggy Kozy Kiddie Korral route. At the time I was working at a clothing store with a lovely girl named Amanda, and she suggested I chose a name from something from my own childhood, like a cartoon or a favorite toy. The first thing that sprang into my head was Jem and the Holograms, and Jerrica Benton’s record label (Starlight Music) and foster home for girls (Starlight House). Perfect, I thought, Starlight it is.
Fast forward to November 2009. I was trying to name a blog and having all the same trouble I did back in 2006. I mentioned my “Starlight” idea to my husband and he gave me a horrified look. “Well then, you think of something,” I said.
All his ideas were pretty silly, culminating in his pièce de résistance: “Giraffe Jetpack.” His logic was that he thinks I’m awesome, and he thinks jetpacks are awesome, so therefore jetpacks are representative of me. I’m not sure what the giraffe was about, but my reply to “Giraffe Jetpack” was “Unicorn Parade!” So did I run to the computer and register that name? No, I did not. A few hours later I decided to just go with my original idea of The Starlight Life, but when I tried to register it WordPress told me my email was already in use. That’s odd, I thought, I don’t have a blog yet. I did a password retrieval and when I opened my gmail there it was.
I logged in and looked over the profile information. It was definitely mine, created in February of this year. How mysterious! So why did I create this blog and then immediately forget about it? What was I going to post here? How did I come up with the name and what was the meaning behind it? I had no idea, but I thought it was too serendipitous to just abandon. So there you have it. Unicorn Parade.