May 29, 2011

Prom night, and day, and morning...

Danielle celebrated her school's "Prom" this weekend. This stressful beautiful event is often referred to as "Grad" or "Grad Ball" in these parts. It's a big deal for the kids because they only have one big dance. We are fortunate to not have to buy three or four dresses a year and all the trimmings like many of our friends do in the States. It's the "Grad" and it's in the graduating year (grade 11) and that's it! However, when you go to an all-girls school finding an date can be a challenge. Danielle took a really nice guy who we have to say was more than patient as Danielle (who is not known to be shy for those who don't know her well) fluttered around like a butterfly. A real Canadian gentleman.

While it's "Prom" night the festivities start the day before with a class BBQ. Parents are not invited.

Prom day started very early with the hair and all that stuff. We were so fortunate that a rugby mom who also owns this salon gave Danielle a gift certificate for the prom package for taking such good care of her 8th grade daughter playing rugby for the first time. See, Danielle has to do this with her daughter -- lift her up in the air and all so she can catch the ball. That's a big responsibility.
Danielle loved the hair and makeup and they did such a wonderful job. Thank you Avanti!
The Prom took place on a Friday and her date arrived at the house at 1 pm for photos and the "interview."
I took this picture without knowing Paul was in the's a classic though...
So the limo arrives with one couple in it...then they left to pick up another couple and end up at one girl's house where they pick up the last couple.

There they took more photos...and more photos...
After this meeting they were scheduled to gather at the Summit on Mont Royal to take group photos. However, as luck would have it, it was raining buckets. They made the stop anyway. Just for "fun." Fortunately, Danielle's hair looks even better in humidity.

Then they were off to the official "cocktail" party at another home where they ended up taking the official photos and some just for fun...
Then the limos take them all to the hotel for the dinner dance and where they meet up with the teachers and parents and the girls all complained that their feet hurt. All this after "a bit" of champagne.

After the reception there was the daddy/daughter dance which was so sweet....
The parents are then kicked out and we don't see the girls until the next day! It's all organized by the school...and the girls and dates are then bussed to a country home about 45 minutes from the city where they have an all-night party. Most of the guys left at some point during the night. Some stay. The funny part is that the school representatives went though all the girl's overnight bags without them knowing it and took out the excessive amounts of alcohol beverages for legal drinkers (it's 18 here) although many of the dates are over 18. However, they left just "enough" for them to have fun. While some parents might find it odd that we're being somewhat "laid back" about this...we were also high school prom-goers and well, did similar things, although our parents didn't know about it and fortunately we can no longer be grounded. 

The country house party had security and Danielle said it was well monitored and no one was sick and no one was out of control and it was a great party until 9 the next morning. However, I have yet to see any photos from this party on Facebook or otherwise. I was given an "approved" selection of photos for the blog. Hmmmmm......

At 9ish a bus then picked them up where they went to another house for brunch. The hosts told me when I picked Danielle up that they have never known Danielle to be so quiet....all the girls were very tired and had the time of their lives.
Danielle came home and slept for 18 hours. She had a wonderful time and we're pleased we only have to do this once!

May 28, 2011

the Daily Duke 5.28.11

Duke is all "what are you wearing?" He's not used to seeing Danielle in anything other than her school uniform, yoga pants and pj's. He's was very curious about her prom dress.

May 20, 2011

Census consensus

Our statistics are officially entered into the Statistics Canada..or as they say in Quebec Statistique Canada. After getting several notices via mail and assuming we didn't need to fill out the forms, I decided to go ahead enter our numbers via the Internet to avoid getting arrested.  Besides, by waiting a bit, I was keeping the government employee responsible for "sending out reminder notices to the people every other week to justify my job" person. Not that it would matter, that person will always have a job. A good job with great benefits.

So, as I got into the online form I had look twice at the computer screen a few times. I mean, all I could do was imagine what Rush, Glenn Beck, Newt and the rest of the "family values" crazies would think if this census form ever saw the light of day in the U.S.A. 

After getting through the "relationship" status page, there were several pages dedicated only to language...

No, thank you Canada. 

May 18, 2011

Random photo 5.18.11

Yes, for obvious reasons we continue to be known as "The Chicago House" in the neighborhood.

May 17, 2011

The first of many lasts

As Danielle winds down her last year of high school, she is starting to experience the "last" of many events that have been a major focus of her education starting in elementary school....and especially at her high school.  Tonight was her last music concert.

Danielle with the other graduating grader 11-ers

Danielle and her graduating music classmates with the school's Headmistress

However, just an hour or so before the music concert...Danielle was here....

Danielle had just about an hour to get back to school, scrub her knees that were caked with mud, and get into her uniform. Fortunately, it's not her last school rugby game since her team won the game...thanks in part to plays like this. 

Here's to the first of many lasts she and her friends will experience in the next month.

May 11, 2011

the Daily Duke 5.11.11

Duke is ecstatic to discover that Louis has decided to try another ball sport this summer in addition to baseball....Lacrosse. I envision lots of practice in the park with Duke being his retriever. 

In case you wanted to know...the championship game of the National Lacrosse League takes place this Sunday, May 15 in Toronto at 2 pm eastern. This I know because in the last 24 hours I have learned more than I ever wanted to know about Lacrosse from Louis, thanks to Google. 

May 6, 2011

Loyal reader

We have a very loyal reader in the Chambly, Quebec area....could you send me a private email??? I'd love to learn more about you.

kish.pisani AT

May 2, 2011

Sober satisfaction

It's hard to not make a comment today about the killing of Osama Bin Laden. This is one of those times when it's strange not to be in your home country, even though Canada is so close.

Today Louis had the day off due to Canada's Federal elections and the public schools being used as polling places. We took the opportunity to drive to Ottawa to take in a museum (more in a later post). The two hour car ride, complete with Tim Horton's coffee and Timbits (we're so Canadian), was an ideal time to listen to the CBC and other talk radio to hear the Canadian perspective about what happened. Fortunately, Rush Limpballs is not in Canada so I didn't accidentally land on his show when scanning through AM radio in the boring part of Ontario. I hate it when that happens. When it does accidentally happen in the states, the kids usually know I will listen for a few minutes and follow that off with a 15 minute rant about what an assho ego-maniac, self-absorbed, bigoted, slob he is and they have to insist I change the station so I don't take off speeding and risk yet another traffic violation.

However, this quality listening time today came between arguments over the radio stations as Louis insisted on listening to his music which gives me a headache. You call this music? I'm sure my mom had the same reaction when I insisted we listen to David Bowie, the Go Go's, Billy Squire and AC/DC over and over again in the early 1980s. Kids today. Wow. I am turning into my mother.

Back to world issues. As Stephen Harper said in his statement below, the mood can best be described as sober satisfaction. More than one radio commentator and caller voiced concern about the outright celebrations taking place in the U.S. about the final killing of OBL. Most Canadians I encountered remain cautious. They are not feeling celebratory, per se.

Perhaps that's just the Canadian way. A bit cautious. A bit reserved. A bit humble. Except of course when it comes to hockey.

Below is Prime Minister Stephen Harper's statement. As I mentioned, today is the day of our Federal elections. It's assumed he will remain Prime Minister later tonight when the final numbers are in...but who knows. This has been one crazy election.

On Sept. 11, 2001, 24 Canadians were murdered in the Al Qaeda attack on the World Trade Centre. The death of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, reported today by President Obama, secures a measure of justice for these Canadians and their families. 
Bin Laden's death does not end the threat of international terrorism. Sadly, others will take his place. 
But, this does remind us why Canadian Armed Forces personnel have been deployed to Afghanistan: to deny Al Qaeda and organizations like it, the use of Afghanistan, where the 9/11 attack was conceived and planned. 
Through their operations there to cut off terror at its root, our men and women in uniform have made an enormous contribution to Canadian security abroad.Here, dedicated security officials work tirelessly and with success, to prevent similar attacks in Canada. Protection of the public is the first and most important duty of government. 
Canada receives the news of the death of Osama bin Laden with sober satisfaction. We will continue to stand firm with our allies against the threat of global terrorism.

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