bravestredhead

Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

Kick-off to the Toronto Jazz Festival Amidst G20!

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2010 at 7:57 pm

I’m writing to inform that we helped to kick-off the Toronto Jazz festival yesterday and it was great! I did an interview with Global TV… which pales beside the current news stories of the protests now breaking out downtown.  Rioting, flames, tear gas, broken corporate glass.  The mood is changing quickly here in Toronto after yesterday’s peaceful and well attended gig.  Despite the G20 concerns and fears of rioting, I’d say the only glitch from my own G20 jazzfest appearance  was the fact that I kept getting toe-cramps in my little red shoes and had to do most of the show barefoot!   Being barefoot and making music on a big outdoor stage with people all around and helicopters over head gave the show a really humming energy… like Woodstock! Or, perhaps it was like it was wartime or something, befitting the music, but seeing twelve police horses go rocketing up the street next to the stage and hearing the almost constant hum of helicopters overhead added a real interesting energy to the show! Jazz.fm recorded the performance for broadcast later this year, and you’ll hear it all then! Yes, playing at city hall during the big summit was quite the experience and I was somewhat apprehensive even. And I may have had earplugs in the my pocket in the eventuality the police had to use “the ear cannons”, and I certainly brought my big mask in case of any irritants like tear gas being tossed around. Luckily for me, the riots have only really gotten started today… boy I hope nobody gets hurt.  I’ll leave you with a parting shot from last night’s big gig! (Coincidentally it’s the ONE YEAR anniversary of when I was admitted to hospital for CMV….)

The boys n' blue pose with Alex @ the Toronto Jazz Festival

Summery Times!

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Gypsy all braided for the Show!

s’been a while so I thought I’d update.

A question I get asked a lot is, “how are the lungs holding up?”  I think people want my answer to be “great! perfect”, but frankly my lung function did take a bit of a hit since all my various complications last year. But hopefully that is all behind me & no more loss.  But that’s too long of an answer, so I usually say, “well, I can sing and dance and enter horse shows!” which makes them happy.

Speaking of which, I took Gypsy  to another horse show, this time a very different sort: a dressage show.  You ride a pattern (no jumps) and are marked on how well you execute the moves.  We took home two yellow ribbons (fourth spot) and I was very proud of her, especially since during our second test the humidity was nearly 100% and she had a cough in the ring. Something as delicate as dressage is nothing I’ve worked on in years, but since it requires great horse/rider communication we were able to pull it off — through her job as my pre-surgery therapy pony we really honed our communication skills.  Also, I drove the truck like a champion.  I think I impressed Tom, and have truly earned the last-name “Parker” at last!

Very excited to be playing the Toronto Jazz Festival. This is our first time in years!!! We shall be playing Nathan Phillips Square on Friday June 25th at 5pm.  Luckily the gig is outside the much discussed G20 security zone and so “the show goes on”…. I am being interviewed by Global that day & Jazz.fm will be recording the concert for later broadcast (in the fall…) so stay tuned. Owing to traffic concerns, I will be walking to the gig, something I’ve rarely done. But can. Awesome.

Last but not least, Tom designed a t-shirt for me and I liked it so much we are making a bunch up for my transplant buddies. If any of you would like  a t-shirt, write in a comment, okay? We can make/mail them within Canada for $8!  Be a walking billboard for transplant!!!! Here is my good friend, and very brave lady, “Amy” wearing hers (Amy has had TWO double lung transplants!!!!) Amy is wearing green, but we can do them in any colour!

If It Aint One thing…

In Uncategorized on June 9, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Even Armstrong sounded like this at the start...

….it’s another!

Had the vet out looking at Gypsy’s teeth… just a routine check up. Anyhow, the vet had only been gone about an hour when I took Tom’s horse out of his stall & discovered that  he had stepped on a big nail !!! So…. I had to call the vet back again for xrays to be certain it hadn’t impaled any important hoof bones. Luckily for us, not. But he’s been on further stall rest while it mends.  To top it off, I sent off my entries to a show this weekend in advance, and now my knee — yes THAT knee– is acting REALLY strange. Hurting. Not good. I envision that we will be rotating lameness amongst us as  a family and that we will never all be “sound” at the same time. Very frustrating. Had acupuncture today to relieve it wherein my knee looked like it had whiskers (the needles are VERY fine) Hopefully the horse-show this weekend can happen! Gypsy is keen to sport braids for the first time in years. (Note; there is a lot of grey hair hiding underneath her forelock now!)

AND, I had my first trumpet lesson this afternoon!!!! I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make any sound come out but I did! I DID! I say “sound” because it surely wasn’t “music” yet…. but I played a “C” note over and over again.  I know for a fact that my lung function goes up a little bit when I blow horn.  Long term goals are a) to increase my lung function and b) to become the next female trumpet playing prime minister (minus the PM part).  Hopefully my sternum will not ache tomorrow as it sometimes does when I tax the incision. I spoke to a saxophone player in the USA who also had a double lung transplant. He was back playing his saxophone not long after transplant and so he’s my inspiration! You cannot know how disgustingly cool I felt to blow out the spit valve for the first time ever! (Plus, you don’t need a knee to play the trumpet. A good fallback position, eh?!)