Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ukutastic Ukuinisms

So I took up playing the ukulele 2 years ago...How does one get to a point in one's life to say one day..."I want to play the ukulele?"
A friend of mine, Mike Marcuzzi, who sadly passed away a year and a half ago, lent me a little green pineapple ukulele, hoping he would someday start a ukulele band.  I spent a couple months ukuoodling around with it, then it sat in it's cardboard case until... of my newly retired BFFs, Judy, told me one summer day while we were sitting on the patio at the boat club drinking too much boxed wine, that on her bucket list was to learn how to play the ukulele.  Of course I said it would be ukutastic if I could teach her the basics.  "Really", I thought to myself in an egotistical tone of voice,  "how hard COULD it be after playing the classical guitar all my life, to play the ukulele...?" 
I then started ukutroducing myself to new people as "Hi, I'm Jen, and I play the ukulele".  Seems like a ukureffic place to start off that awkward first moments of meeting new people.  Most people chuckle and ask me if I play "Tip Toe Through the Tulips" - that would be a ukueforic "no".  Then I point out that a ukulele really isn't just a toy, it's a pretty ukucool instrument.  Now, I'm not an expert, or prodigy by any stretch of the means but I can play some pretty ukutastic jazz tunes.  I also rock pretty hard some Radiohead, Green Day and George Michael tunes.

Why have one ukulele when 12 will do?  So here's my ukulele line up:

Green Pineapple (summer 2009):

Lanaki Tenor (summer 2010):

Banjo (October 2013):

Electric Gretsch (December 2013):

Lanaki Soprano (January 2014):

As far as I'm concerned - playing the ukulele is ukueriffic.  When I play a tune for someone they are ukually surprised at what can be done.  I can't say I'm not totally self taught, I did attend ukulele camp for a couple days in Toronto in 2011 with Judy and watched a lot of UkuTube, signed up for cool ukulele websites like Ukulele Underground and Ukulele Forum for hints and tips.  I guess you could call me a ukulele nerd but I wouldn't kick anyone out of bed for playing the ukulele. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Good Morning Sunshine

You get rudely disturbed by the clock radio, hit the snooze bar a billion times, just 10 more minutes before sticking out your feet into the dim light of our basement apartment wondering what the weather holds today.  The soft carpet is replaced by hard tile on my journey to the bathroom.  I sit my bottom down on the toilet seat and rub the sleep out of my eyes.  I listen to my boy fill a pot of water to boil in order to make the elixir of my morning in the plastic white French Press someone gave to me long ago.  I toddle into the bedroom opening drawers, digging through the piles of clothes on the floor trying to decide what kind of fashion statement I should make at the office today and if anyone really notices, hearing the laptop start up and the talk radio whine away in the background of my mind.  I pull out a shirt, a pair of pants, socks, underwear, bra, wrestle to put them all on in the correct order. 
A minute later in the kitchen, I pour the oatmeal into a little Ikea pot with water and put the burner on medium and stand watching it slowly come to a bubble.  The coffee is settling in the French Press and I grab a couple of mugs waiting...waiting...waiting.  The weather, once again says it's ass snappin' cold out with no chance of wonderful warmth in the near future and I sit on my stool at the kitchen counter watching the oatmeal bubble away in the pot hoping it doesn't burn this morning, my head resting in my hands.  A pleasant conversation flows naturally, easily between me and my boy and we laugh and make jokes about the upcoming day and what adventures the next 10 hours may bring us. 
I stir the brown sugar into my oatmeal, pour the frothy hot coffee into my mug that has a Z scrawled across it.  Taking a sip my boy reminds me that of course it's hot and I burn my tongue, just like all the other mornings before this one.  I fill the empty oatmeal bowl with water to let it soak all day, where it will patiently wait for me to come home to make it all sparkly again later tonight.
Pulling my carcass off the bar stool, I meander into the bathroom, brush the sleep off my teeth, apply make-up to one eye, swish the mascara brush in the almost empty make-up holder then apply to the other eye.  My boy is tidying up the kitchen while I make myself beautiful for the office.  My hair needs cutting but there's nothing I can do about it at this moment so I shrug my shoulders and put more goop on the parts that won't lay flat. 
Looking at my watch and realizing the time, grab last night's leftovers from the refrigerator for today's lunch, my coat is on, zipped up, should I wear my big heavy winter boots, might as well, they were expensive.  Then a kiss on the lips, a nice smile and an "I love you babe" and out the door, purse over my shoulder, knitting in my lunch bag and into the cold sunshine of this never ending winter.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Life is full of awesome adventures

I haven't blogged in ages, but thought that I might get back to it.  A lot of cool and not so cool stuff has happened in the 2 years since I last posted.  So as not to make a long boring blog, here is everything in a nutshell from the past year:

April 2013: sold house in Toronto
April 2013: moved to Chateau Lake Louise to work as a pastry chef
June 2013: decided the Chateau Lake Louise wasn't for me
July 2013: flew back to Ontario and moved in with my dad and stepmom in Bobcaygeon
July 2013: my niece was born
September 2013: joined the Barrie Yacht Club
October 2013: moved to Barrie and got a legal assistant job (again...sigh)
November 2013: met a tattooed, Harley riding guy named Mike life in the past year summed up in 8 lines.  However, I'm happy as a clam in shite, if indeed a clam can be happy in that situation.  This past winter has been a long slog as far as the weather here in Ontario, last Thursday was the first day of spring and of course it's snowing today, and last weekend, this is what it looked like on Georgian Bay, less than a week away from the first day of spring:

My boy Mike spent the winter in Florida (insert groans here...) and I was able to visit twice and met some really great new friends while I was there.  I even had my first ride on a motorcycle and loved it (and no screaming, just big smiles):

This summer will be full of sailing on Lake Simcoe (I have been assured that you can navigate Lake Simcoe with a road map...), riding on the back of Mike's Harley (I will require new outfits) and spending some nice, not so quiet weekends in the Muskokas in Mike's camper (Gawd help us all...).  In the fall who knows, right now I'm just itching for the weather to suddenly spring into spring so that I can get out of the house and get some fresh air that won't make my nostrils stick together. 
The Sailing Chef has new adventures on the horizon that may even include a change of the name of my blog to the Travelling Chef - so stay tuned sports fans...