Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring has Sprung!

Yesterday marked the second day of spring, and we had a beautiful day to begin a new season. It was also much warmer than weather of late - a very temperate -18°C. I know that seems pretty chilly compared to the weather some of you are enjoying, but believe me, this was a welcome change. For Lily, it was the first day in months where she didn't have to wear multiple layers; for me, it meant two things: no snow pants, and walking Pepper. 

He hasn't been for an outdoor walk since January, when I took him outside and he lasted all of ten minutes before shivering violently. When I let him in after that first attempt, he refused to come near me for a few hours. This time, he was, as before, reluctant to come outside, but he settled down after a few minutes and was wagging his tail soon after. We walked around the neighborhood, earning territorial barks from the local dogs, but he didn't seem to care. 

We exercised for about 40 minutes, and when he came back inside, he wasn't shivering, which is a big deal for a dog as small as this one. It helped that he had two layers - the cutest tracksuit you've ever seen, with a polar fleece jacket on top. I spent ten fruitless minutes trying to get his booties on before calling it quits and heading out the door.

Tonight we are having a pizza party! We've invited our neighbours and their kids, along with a few new people (some new to Baker, others simply new to us). That means buying a lot of frozen pizza (don't forget - triple the cost up here), cleaning the house, wearing out the dog so he's less crazy when guests arrive, and putting drinks on ice, or as we like to call it, the back porch. The party is also ostensibly a belated birthday bash for me, but I think any opportunity to have children play together, and with Pepper, trumps any other occasion. 

On a sadder note, I think my Xbox is broken. Last night I tried to join my brother online for some Call of Duty, but it doesn't recognize the wireless router. Since the Xbox's card is built-in, that means shipping the whole thing back to either Best Buy or a dealer, which means probably $60 in shipping costs. I'm hoping to find a workaround solution - anyone know a techie who can offer suggestions?

In the interim, I've been playing another gift my wife surprised me with. It's a game by Deepak Chopra, and it's called Leela, which is Sanskrit for "play of the universe". It's one of the highest-rated Xbox Kinect games, and after playing it, I can see why. It teaches you how to relax and meditate, based on the 7 chakras, an ancient system to explain how energy flows inside of us. There are games, which involve yoga-like movements, or a meditation component, with stunning visual effects. I am finding that playing it at night makes me fall asleep much faster, and I am calmer throughout the day. I know it may sound hokey, but it does work, and it's a refreshing change from sports and first person shooters, although they are equally entertaining, in other ways. 

Last night was also "Grey's Night" - most of you will know and/or follow Grey's Anatomy. I watched an occasional episode for the first few seasons, but have been more closely following the storyline this year, in part because Lily and some of her friends here like to come over and make a night of it. It's a great show, although I am not fanatical about it. I used to wonder about people who wouldn't hang out on certain nights because "their show" was on. Now I understand; not because of Grey's, but for the show that follows it - Scandal. I LOVE this show, and it's painful to have to wait a week in between episodes. Betrayal, intrigue, mystery, and the namesake of the show are all common elements of this adrenaline-inducing series. That, and Elementary, a modern take on Sherlock Holmes, with Lucy Liu playing the role of Watson, a companion to a recovering drug addict and consultant to the New York police department (Sherlock). The lead character reminds me of the star in the show House - witty, blunt, and generous with biting sarcasm. Both are must-see shows, in my opinion. We are also faithful viewers of Once Upon A Time, Walking Dead, and American Horror Story - fantasy/horror themes seem to rule the day. Along that same vein, we have just started watching a new series, and the title will tell you all you need to know about it. It's called Bates Motel, and it's a modern-day prequel to Hitchcock's nightmarish film. 

Pepper just heard someone walking outside, because he is barking his head off, so I am off to distract him. I hope your spring is filled with the same promise of renewal and hope that ours is starting off with. 


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