Saturday, March 27, 2010

pics from a trip

a few, anyway.
I didn't take many. oops.

a) & b) hallendale beach, florida & c) the hotel pool

d) our suite on the cruise e) water below our balcony f) water g) out our balcony h) the boat used & the ferry used to shuttle us toGeorgetown, Grand Cayman

i) the water in Jamaica, j) the view in the morning, in Ocho Rios, Jamaica k) ocean sunset

Nassau, Bahamas

beautiful graffiti, nassau (and our ship in the background!)

beautiful graffiti, nassua


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

good intentions and a whole bunch of other random stuff

how's that for a post title?
Good Intentions: I often utter the words "the road to hell was paved with good intentions" when I hear anyone say they had intended on doing something as some sort of excuse for not doing said thing. And this is why: It's true. Intentions mean nothing in reality.
  • I had great intentions for this blog while I was away.
  • I had intended on blogging the entire time I was on my little vacay; I wanted to blog every day in March.
  • I had intended on writing a couple of reviews for the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge during my time away.
  • I had intended on reading three or four books for the same challenge.
  • I had intended on documenting each day with pictures, capturing each day forever.
And here I am at the end of my vacay. Wow. Not one thing achieved. I am So behind! Ha!

The only thing I can think of in my new found mellow relaxed and rejuvenated state is: Oh well. I had intended on so much that of course I couldn't achieve it. I mean, I had to factor in actually doing things on this vacay (it was a conference for my husband's job, there was stuff to do!) and then I had to add on the klutzy eff-ups that are so my style.

My hurdles included:

  • the fact that we had 150 minutes of free wi-fi for the entire week, after which you are charged seventy-five cents PER minute. So there was that. Add in the fact that the connection was dial-up speed at best, making it impossible to even access my webmail or twitter, and you will find my laptop closed most of the time.

  • the fact that I forgot the camera cord at home and failed to borrow one from the 47 other people who had the same camera with them.

  • the fun. There was too much fun to be had to be toting my camera around every second. I got about 100 pictures. Total. Yah. So, I'll get copies from my new-found friends. Done and Done.
Ok, enough about what I didn't do the last week or so, how about I share some of what I did do? That sounds way more fun.
  1. I attended my first annual national association conference; my husband works for the association - he was working and hosting, I was his spouse, vacationing.
  2. I got to know 798 of my husband's amazing co-workers, colleagues and professional peers/families from every region of Canada. He had said it was like a family. He did not lie.
  3. I went on my first cruise. The conference was on the ship; we had the entire boat. Yah.
  4. I visited 4 new places on the globe I had never been before. (Fort Lauderdale; Florida, Georgetown; Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios; Jamaica and Nassau: Bahamas.) And the ocean, I got to see a lot of the broad beautiful blue ocean.
  5. I left my passport and boarding pass in the bathroom at OTHER END of the Toronto Airport in between flights on the way there. I lost my passport in between the aisle and my seat on our final flight home, only finding it when we landed, in the overhead bin with someone else's luggage. #fail #typical
  6. I ate like a queen, slept like a well fed baby, and pretty much ate drank and hung out on the upper deck lounge (near all the buffets!) to my heart's content. #win
  7. Did not get seasick. But I didn't really leave any room for that to happen since I had the seasickness patch on behind my ear the entire time. It was awesome.
  8. I was aware of the ship's movement and I times it did freak me out or make me a bit dizzy. Sitting was worse than standing, but it was no problem sleeping and was kinda cool being rocked to sleep. Most times it was hard to discern between the gravol haze, the few drinks in me and the movement of the ship. I found that by day 2 you just go with it. Everyone staggers, nobody judges.
  9. I swam in the ocean in the Caymans and Bahamas.
  10. I grew to like unsweetened iced tea.
  11. I ate multiple small meals each day. it was awesome. i miss it ALL.
  12. I got sunburned in Fort Lauderdale, the Caymans, wore a long sleeved shirt in Jamaica and the Bahamas and am peeling like an idiot as we speak. dammit.
  13. I drank Caesar's in the morning (they knew we were Canadian, so they had the bar stocked with Mott's & celery salt), about 700 gallons of water, and some really great cafe au lait from the 24 hour coffee machines.
  14. I ate 4 course meals and simply stood up at the end and walked out of the restaurant without signing, paying, tipping, nothing.
  15. I pet stingrays in the Bahamas. They feel like velvety mushrooms. I didn't expect them to have eyes and it freaked me out when I first snorkeled down. I didn't expect one to turn and put my fingers in it's weird little gummy mouth either. Zoiks. That was enough for me. Experience complete, check.
  16. I ordered 24 hour room service. It was awesome.
  17. I experienced luxury. Did I mention that yet? As we collected our luggage there were jokes about starting an online support community for us all.We are ruined. No one wanted to go home. Everyone raved about the cruise.
  18. I gambled at sea in the casino. I played blackjack. I got 21 a couple of times. The dealer was impressed when I told him to give me a red jack for my ace, and he did. I lost $25 at the end of the night. It was fun.
  19. I swam in the pool while we were at sea. Weird. In water, on water.
  20. I sat in the hot tub laying back and looking up at different stars, at a crescent moon that hugged the bottom of the moon, not like the side crescent we see here. Weird. I sat in hot water, in warm air, over cold water. Weird.
  21. I met and hung out with Devon Harris, an amazing speaker. You might know him from his Olympic days as a member of the Jamaican bobsled team. He was a keynote at the conference so he was on the ship with us. He has an amazing foundation helping kids back in his hometown in Kingston Jamaica. He can dance. He was a tonne of fun.
  22. Did I mention the dancing under the stars during Theme Night? It was Jamaica night, and it was a blast. I usually roll my eyes at that type of thing, I won't lie. But it was a riot. To see the chairmen in their rasta hats with fake dreads was awesome. There was much tequila consumed by my husband. (He had early morning (7am) meetings most days, ouch) The band played, we danced to 80's tunes and it was pure fun. Whodda thunk?! #awesome
So that about summarizes much of what went down the last week or so. It was amazing. It was like a camp on a boat. Everyone knew each other and wore name badges, so it was really easy to feel at home quite quickly. Life is good.

ps. the tulips are up!
pps. my uncle jj cleaned our entire house and raked our front yard while we were gone. I know! Don't hate me.
ppps. pictures tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Latin American Film Festival

Tomorrow in Ottawa, the Canadian Film Institute will open the curtains to its 14th Annual Latin American Film Festival. 15 countries are participating. I will be kicking around, maybe I'll see you there! Plus, there are often receptions afterwards. Did I mention there is food and/or wine? Well now you know.

For a complete outline of coming events, check out the calendar.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

three birds

I want to remember this. This feeling. The feeling of being without stress. Without complete anxiety. It’s been far too long since I have felt this at ease.

Right now it’s 6am. It’s really 7 though. The time goes back 1 hour when you cross into the Caribbean. Who knew? I have been awake since 5. When I awoke, I lied in bed facing the balcony doors that lead to my ocean. I could see only darkness; no horizon line to be seen, just pitch black darkness. As my eyes adjusted to the light, or lack there of, I witnessed what I thought at the time was an optical illusion. Out of the darkness 3 birds rose from the depths and their white bodies glowed like heavenly angels. The hovered and flapped beside the balcony for what seemed like an hour. I just lied there, I just watched. I wondered, again, if I was making this up in my mind. Off they flew. My husband tossed and turned suddenly, and noticing I was awake said good morning. I commented on the birds I had just seen, and he replied: they are following the ship. Being fully awake by this point, I arose and went for the balcony door. Sure enough, about 20 feet ahead of my balcony flew an entire flock of birds. Dipping and diving, they followed us for what seemed like forever. I just sat in the dark and watched them. From the balcony itself, I could hear them talking, hear them answering one another. It was as if time stood still for a while. And I enjoyed it.

I was very anxious about this trip. I hadn’t travelled anywhere since 2008. The last time I went anywhere outside my own city it was to go on an ultimate road trip to see the Dave Matthews Band with a friend. She had lovingly purchased tickets for the both of us and I had been eager to get away. Road trips were always my fave thing to do, and she and I had done road trips in the past to see Dave so I was excited. I anticipated it for months. What I didn’t anticipate was forgetting my medication. My medication that keeps me sane. My medication that has crippling heroin –like withdrawal symptoms if not taken on time every 24 hours. Without that medication I became unglued. I fell apart at the seams by day 3. Shaking, sweating, nauseated, I really tried to continue with our trip unaffected. I tried. But I fell apart. The 2nd concert we attended was a challenge. I sat down for most of it or stood with my eyes closed, begging the music to please make me feel better. I had panic attacks the entire time. By the time the next morning came I was done. We were going to head home, spend the night there, I could get my meds and we would continue on the next day. Great plan right? In theory, maybe. In reality, no such luck. My altered state left me crying continually, completely overwhelmed, over stimulated and in somewhat a state of crisis as far as mental soundness goes. I was done like dinner. The thought of leaving the house was enough to make me gag. Literally. The fear of the world was intense. I had lost the battle with my anxiety, in my mind. As a result: no travelling. A renewed fear of public places, crowds and restaurants. I felt like I was a 7 year old again. Without control. I had Nothing. The fear had won.

So now.
Hear I sit. On a cruiseship in the middle of the ocean.
Happier than I have been in years. Stress is not here. Anxiety is not here.
I cannot believe I just typed that. (You just KNOW I will lose it as soon as I press Post.)
I have flown on a plane and been fine. I have eaten every meal in a restaurant with other people, most of whom I have just met, for every meal in the last 2 days. I never thought I would be able to again. But I have. And I will continue to. Because I can. Because all I’ve ever wanted was to be Normal. And I can see that it can happen again; I can return to that state of being calm. I can function like a normal human being. I can enjoy my life. I wanted to write this down while I felt it, because I might need these memories in the future; in Panic. And I never want to forget those 3 birds. I can almost hear them ‘singing don’t worry, about a thing. ‘cause every little thing’s gonna be alright.’ I can. I can hear them.

With much love from the ocean,

Saturday, March 13, 2010

can't get this out of my mind.

maybe because in 2 days I will be too!
I hope there is karaoke. Can you here me sing it?

Oh yah.


Friday, March 12, 2010

they're just around the corner...

i rely on my pictures from years before as a wonderful reminder of renewal and growth.
i look through them all winter.
i look forward to their return every spring.
when we get back from our trip to the sunny south, they will soon arrive.
this year's early melt means they might come early.

i hope so.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

travelling journal; a peek!

I am in the basement with the laundry. It's been 2 days, this time. I loathe laundry enough to blog about it. Now, I'm going away in 4 days so I have little choice in the matter. I need clean clothes! So far, I've blown 4 fuses with the dryer. Our old little house needs rewiring. This does not help me like laundry any less. I am far away from my studio, 2 floors up. grrr...
I have no idea why I am telling you this.
I have something I can share artwise. Why not just get to that. Here we go.
The background: I have some friends online, my gerds I call them. They are some amazing women (ok, and guys) who I met on the Nerdfighter Ning site. Not familiar with Nerfighteria, as it's referred to by Nerdfighters, or the term Nerdfighters itself for that matter? I completely get that, the webs are vast and wide! So, I suggest you check out the vlogbrothers, as Hank and John Green are known on Youtube. They work to Decrease World Suck, embrace loving literature, music, Harry Potter and any general nerdy trait a body can have. I love them. Ok, background info aside. I must admit, I am not as active over there any longer. Once I decided to develop this little blog I dropped the ball over there. Still, I love the peeps and drop by from time to time to see what they are up to.
The gerds decided to do a travelling journal that we could then have bound and printed and then order for ourselves. I love that idea! I signed right up. So, I was 3rd on the list and received the amazing package of journal pages of those before me (Serenity & Evangeline!) in an amazing little folder constructed to hold the pages together as they travel the world. Holy wow! Awesome! What the frac can I create to be worthy of going into that folder?! AH!

I sat on the folder for 2 weeks. I know. I was to only have it for 3. I know. But I was brewing. I was working on figuring out what to do, what would represent me on paper. Ugh. I got intimidated. So I figured I would flip through some of my old sketchbooks and see if I could get inspired. I did! It worked! I found a couple images to use, pulled some old pages from an old dictionary I had bought with that very intent (I have a hard time taking any book apart), and got to it. So far, I have 3 or 4 layers done, but the two pages don't feel quite finished yet. I have until tomorrow to get them in the mail, so I thought I would share a couple shots here with you: I need to get these done and in the mail tomorrow.

See you tomorrow! Let's hope the laundry is done and the pages in the mail. I'll be sure to post some sneak peeks when they are completed.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

52 books in 52 weeks: Book 3: The Jade Peony

So. Book 3. Only book 3? Already book 3? I know. I'm not sure how I feel about it either at this point, 3 books in. Regardless, I said I was going to do it, so I am. Let's get to it!

The Jade Peony, by Wayson Choy.


I had heard of this book through CBC's Canada Reads, an annual reading event where 5 Canadian fiction books are chosen, read and debated as to which is *the Best* or something like that. I hadn't yet read The Jade Peony, so I googled it, read the back cover and was convinced it was a perfect read. Why? Well, first of all it takes place in Chinatown, Vancouver in the late 1930's and 40's - an area I know little about - and a history I know little about. And the Olympics were coming up. Perfecto! Also, check out the outline provided on the Canada Read's website for this book:

Wayson Choy's poignant, award-winning debut novel, The Jade Peony, is told from the point of view of three siblings who come of age in Vancouver's Chinatown during the Depression and war years.

Jook-Liang, the family's only girl, and her brothers Jung-Sum and Sek-Lung (nicknamed Sekky) were all born in Canada, but their parents and the rest of the family are recent immigrants. The children grow up torn between the reality of their lives outside the family circle and the old-world traditions that prevail at home.

The children are drawn to figures from North American popular culture, from cowboys to Shirley Temple, but they're also captivated by the magical stories told by Poh-Poh, their grandmother. Her mythic tales feature ghosts, dragons and characters from Chinese folklore such as the Monkey King and the scary Fox Lady.

The three have very different experiences of life in their family and the world at large. Sekky, the youngest, witnesses a love affair between his Chinese-Canadian babysitter and a young man of Japanese heritage, which plays out against the backdrop of the racism that flourished during the Second World War.

The Jade Peony is a sensitive depiction of the collision between cultures that all newcomers experience — and the conflicts within families that can arise as a result. It's also a vivid evocation of the division between the world of adults and the world of childhood, rendered with insight, humour and grace.

Wayson Choy's tale began life as a short story of the same name, which was widely anthologized in Canada and the U.S. after its publication in 1979. The novel, published in 1995, won both Ontario's Trillium Book Award and the City of Vancouver Book Award and garnered glowing reviews at home and abroad.

What can I say, other than I loved it, I read it very quickly and didn't want it to end? Not much! Everything that has been written about this wonderful book is bang on, I definitely recommend it!

So this one was short & sweet. Oh well. Book 4 is coming soon! I am currently on schedule reading wise, and had thought I would easily get 2 books posts up a week that are slightly better written, but I haven't so far. I am working on that.

happy tuesday leel

Monday, March 8, 2010

Music Monday (with a hint of challenge)

Music Monday seems like a nice theme to stick with. let's give it a whirl.
The Song I currently cannot get out of my head. the lyrics. the music. classic rabbit hole.
Astronautalis was introduced to me via Ryan from Pacing the Panic Room. Amongst his many talents, the guy has great taste in music. So far, his music tastes match mine exactly. Ok, his late discovery of Arcade Fire does leave me wondering, but it is a bit of an obscure Canadian band from Montreal, so he still gets bonus points. (Jab. That was a joke. My humor might not translate so well here. Don't hate me, brother Ryan. p.s I am not a stalker. I promise.) ANYHOO - Ryan is working on a charity album to benefit research for SMS. It is for his son. I will be posting later about this when the album is released. Ryan has been sharing videos of some of the artists that are involved in donating music for the charity album. Lucky us!
Enter, My Point: Ryan posted this video. I have listened to it at least 26 times since then, and am at the point where I now awake singing it. Writing this, and singing it. That bad. I love this song. Love it. So it only feels natural to share it here with you too. So you can sing it over and over and then want to really really want to buy the new charity album that comes out to see what they contribute. See how that works?
So, my challenge to you is to listen to this song twice, in a row, maybe while doing something else, and see if you sing it afterwards and want to go back and listen again. It's not so much the video itself, it's the music, the song, the lyrics. For me, i was sold between 00:49 and 01:20 on my first playthrough. I love that piece. So go, listen. Tell me I'm crazy, but try it and lemme know! Also, check out Ryan's blog. His pictures and words are magic.

i know its hopeless, hell ain't big enough to hold us back,
come on let's pick a fight, we hunt for trouble tonight


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Suckday. sorry, I mean, Sunday.

I clearly have the flu my pukey husband had for 2 days. Awesome. I should have known when I was still tossing and turning at 3am that emerged into a cold sweat and a spinny feeling I can only describe as hypoglycemic in nature, with sweaty shakes and an intense craving for sugar. I wish I had remembered the flu connection this morning when I was heaving (the pb&j crackers from last night's catatonic sugar-quest) into the sink while attempting to brush my teeth after sleeping in, late for my nephew's baptism. Awesome. TMI? Sorry. Such is life with a blogger. Well, this one. Anyway => I am at home posting this instead of being with my family at the after party; I mean, who wants a sick relative there spreading their ill yuck around? Not me.
My long-winded point? I am throwing down the Flu Card & stealing today; and pointing you insteadto a hilarious video introduced to me through a post by an awesome blogger, Adam Avitable. He just posted this Funny or Die video on his blog, and even though I am uncomfortable with nausea and general flu crankiness, it made me laugh. It will make you laugh too. Don't thank me, thank the flu, the fact that Avitable and I are both behind the times, and Avitable for posting it. Do you think I posted his name and linked enough (Avitable!) that he won't care that little ole me stole this from him? I think he'll understand. (hugs!)
Enough. Check out his post. Press play and laugh. Go ahead. We can talk after. I'll wait.

p.s. *Babar...* *tag, you're it* and *Can I be ambassador to Cancun?* were a couple of my fave lines. What are your faves? Do tell... It helps my flu, the fun does. Links to other funniness is also encouraged. :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Another nephew project, another reason to make Things

Hooray! Tomorrow in the wee hours of the morning i will gather with friends and family to celebrate the Baptism of my 2nd little nephew at a downtown church. Pray with my husband I don't spontaneously com bust as I walk through the front doors.
To celebrate this blessing of the boy I decided to Make Him Something, as I try to do on occasions such as this. Enter embroidery. I have loved embroidery all my life and gave cross-stitch a try a decade ago. I actually finished a couple of cute counted cross-stitch pieces, but, being the creature I am, I didn't continue doing any more. Until now. I decided that since my nephew has a wonderfully unique name that I would make something with his name on it. I pulled out two trusty books: Colorful Stitchery by Kristin Nicholas and The New Crewel by Katherine Shaughnessy for inspiration. Both books are amazing intros to contemporary needlework, providing templates, stitching illustrations and guides as well as amazing examples of finished design projects. I was fueled.

I decided to do something simple since this was only my second attempt at designing and stitching a piece of my own. I wanted it boyish but not something babyish either. I went into MS Word and started with his name. I scrolled through every font I had and downloaded more. The final piece was designed entirely by fonts I downloaded on one of my favourite spots on the web EVER, the Fonts for Peas website by the amazing and generous Kevin & Amanda. Pea Leanna was used for this name across the top, and the little trees? Yes, they are a font too, called Pea Suzie Trees. Imagine. The trees were hard to resist, why bother drawing and scanning them in myself when I can type out the same sweet trees with a font? I know.

I played around with the design until I was happy, and then changed the font colour to a light grey. I printed the design out on a Wilton Fabric Transfer sheet (the yellow package in the link) essentially a light weight piece of cotton canvas adhered to a stiff paper backing that allows it to run through your little printer. They are perfect for embroidering with the paper backing left on - the paper acts as a removable fabric stiffener you can peel off when your piece is stitched and ready for mounting. Added bonus for sure!I used DMC Floss for all the stitching. I used a variety of stitches, but mostly the stem stitch, back stitch and french knots. Easy peasie! It took about 10 hours to stitch, a perfect amount of time to kill while watching your favourite tv stuff.

Here is the design, scanned in. I get too angry trying to photograph anything under glass, so the scanned image without the final matte and black frame will have to be inserted through your own perfectly capable imagination. It looks good. Good enough that he's actually getting it and not some last minute toy from the gas station tomorrow morning. Done and done.

How fun was that? I might be addicted. Happy Sunday!


p.s. I have another piece of embroidery ready to share this week as well! who knew?!

p.p.s. His name? Yes, it is a vacuum name as well. We love it. Little Dyson... sigh.

Friday, March 5, 2010


*If you say it like *hammertime!* it's WAY more fun.

I was poking around the interwebs and landed on Sunday Stealing. Great name. Also, it's a meme sharing blog. I haven't done a meme thingy on here like that, so why not now? Who needs Sunday? Perfect for a Friday, so: ACTION! I present to you my answers.

The Clown's Meme

1. How old will you be in five years? Emotionally, 14. IRL? 41. ugh.

2. Who did you spend at least two hours with today? My Uncle JJ & my husband, The Bub

3. How tall are you? 5’9”

4. What do you look forward to most in the next six weeks? My first sunny getaway, in two weeks!

5. What’s the last movie you saw? I watched Hotel Gramercy Park & Management back to back a day or 2 ago. I enjoyed both.

6. Who was the last person you called? My Uncle JJ

7. Who was the last person to call you? My neighbour Heidi

8. What was the last text message you received? um, text? yah, no I don’t text. I got rid of my cell phone a while ago. I hated it.

9. Who was the last person to leave you a voicemail? I haven’t checked yet. Oops!

10. Do you prefer to call or text? Call, no texting!

11. What were you doing at 12am last night? Embroidering my nephew’s baptism gift and eating fresh baked chocolate banana chunk muffins.

12. Are your parents married/separated/divorced? My parents were married for 37 years, divorced in 2009.

13. When is the last time you saw your mom? On Saturday.

14. What color are your eyes? Brown

15. What time did you wake up today? 7:25

16. What are you wearing right now? Jeans, a grey wife-beater and a white t-shirt.

17. What is your favorite christmas song? Carol of the Bells

18. Where is your favorite place to be? Near the ocean.

19. Where is your least favorite place to be? Chained to a desk in an office.

20. Where would you go if you could go anywhere? Africa: Rwanda and Lesotho, specifically.

21. Where do you think you’ll be in 10 years? Exactly where I need to be.

22. Do you tan or burn? I burn to a nice crisp in 20 minutes or less.

23. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child? Badguys.

24. What was the last thing that really made you laugh? The Bub.

25. How many TVs do you have in your house? 2. That’s 1 too many in my opinion.

26. How big is your bed? Queen size. One day, I will have a bedroom big enough for a king!

27. Do you have a laptop or desktop computer? laptop

29. What color are your sheets? this week, white.

30. How many pillows do you sleep with? 2

31. What is your favorite season? Spring!

32. What do you like about Autumn? The cool nights and the smell of fires in the fireplace.

33. What do you like about winter? Not much. The reading inside, the snowy holidays?

34. What do you like about the summer? The gardening and long days, reading in the hammock and eating outside in our yard.

35. What do you like about spring? Everything! The world comes alive!

36. How many states/provinces have you lived in? 2

37. What cities/towns have you lived in? Woodstock, Fredericton, and Grand Falls (New Brunswick), Stittsville & Ottawa (Ontario).

38. Do you prefer shoes, socks, or bare feet? Bare feet at all times please.

39. Are you a social person? Yes and No.

40. What was the last thing you ate? A chocolate banana chunk muffin.

41. What is your favorite restaurant? MeKong in Ottawa

42. What is your favorite ice cream? Jamoca Almond Fudge

43. What is your favorite dessert? Mud Pie

44. What is your favorite kind of soup? Cream of Mushroom

45. What kind of jelly do you like on your PB & J sandwich? Homemade strawberry jam.

46. Do you like Chinese food? Sure do!

47. Do you like coffee? Sure do! With cream & sugar please.

48. How many glasses of water, a day, do you drink on average? 3

49. What do you drink in the morning? Coffee or tea.

50. What non-banking related card in your wallet is the most valuable to you? My driver’s license.

51. Do you sleep on a certain side of the bed? Yes.

52. Do you know how to play poker? Yes.

53. Do you like to cuddle? Sometimes.

54. Have you ever been to Canada? I live in Canada!

55. Do you have an addictive personality? Why? Who said that? (YES!)

56. Do you eat out or at home more often? At home.

57. What do you miss about highschool, if anything? The free time, easy breezy days.

58. Do you know anyone with the same birthday as you? Yes!

59. Do you want kids? Thinking about it, but yes, in general.

60. Do you speak any other languages? Je parle Francaise un petit peu...

61. Have you ever gotten stitches? Astonishingly, only twice. Both times on the face.

62. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance? No.

63. Do you prefer an ocean or a pool? Ocean, hands down.

64. Do you prefer a window seat or an aisle seat? Window.

65. Do you know how to drive stick? I learned on a stick, so yes.

66. What is your favorite thing to spend money on? Great vintage finds nobody else would notice.

Enough about meme. (get it? i kill me.)
How about you?
Of course, I want to hear about you!
Copy away, and just leave links back to the original.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

process inspiration in the tube

One of the best things to happen to me in the last couple years inspiration wise has been my discovery of YouTube. Yes, that place. That rabbit hole. You know it well, I imagine. It's my go-to spot for music, personal vlogs, cute kittens, vintage tv anything and a mishmash of every other imaginable subject suited for my wacky taste. What's not to love, I ask?
The other thing that really has kept me hooked is the artists and the art community. What YouTube artists give the viewer that regular photos of artwork doesn't is a keyhole view into their process. In-Action Process. That is something I haven't ever had a tonne of exposure to, but am completely fascinated by. I love process! Seeing how a person moves through the creative process, makes changes, finishing marks made to a work. These artists let us behind the curtain by sharing their talents, methods, thoughts and developing works with the viewer. They choose to share their own bits of knowledge and experience with the world. To see a final painting is one thing, to see one develop in front of your eyes by the artist is a completely different experience. I love that the most about the online video world.

Here is a video I love; one I literally stumbled upon in 2008 by artist Michael Shapcott. He has a few others worth checking out as well, but this is the first one I watched, so I go back to it often. I feel like watching some of his videos when I want to generate my own ideas and need some visual prompting. He always gets the ball rolling. So, today I thought my friends my enjoy seeing a piece of artwork as it comes alive. I love that he took the time to share this with the world.

p.s. Isn't he adorable? the intro? i know.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

52 books in 52 weeks: Book 2: The Museum of Innocence

How do you choose books? I remember in the early days of e-mail, before online was even a real word, e-mailing a professor who had taught me Canadian Literature in university, asking him for any book recommendation he could suggest. I was sick of just standing in the aisle of the bookstore choosing a book roulette style. I was desperate for new books. He never e-mailed me back. That was the world before the real online world we know now.

Now, I have a running Wish List on the Chapters/Indigo website that allows me to simply save the book in an Online List that I can add to and shop from when the time comes. I seem to like the Hunter/Gatherer approach. I graze and take note of new up-and-coming authors mentioned online, I read reviews, look for classics that are completely foreign to me, watch Award Lists and read my favorite authors' newest works when they come out. What are you reading? is a favourite question of mine. I have also been known to attack fellow book-shoppers with a few questions about what they are holding, twisting to see the authors and titles in their arms. I am That Girl. don't hate me.

So, for book #2, I will start out by mentioning that I have no idea how or when this book was added to my Online List. When I shared said List with my family before the holidays, I simply sent them the link and said go nuts. Orhan Pamuk's epic love story The Museum of Innocence must have been on there, because it lovingly appeared under the tree. As I researched a bit I noticed it is a past Pulizer Prize winner, so that might be why I added it to the List. Who Knows. Regardless. It doesn't matter. I read it.

Let's start out with a nice little summary from the publisher:

A sweeping, emotionally charged novel of the nature of romantic attachment and the strange allure of collecting — this is Orhan Pamuk’s greatest achievement.

It is Istanbul in 1975. Kemal is a rich and engaged man when he by chance encounters a long-lost relation, Fusun, a young shop girl whose beauty stirs all the passion denied him in a society where sex outside marriage is taboo.

Fusun ends their liaison when she learns of Kemal’s engagement. But Kemal cannot forget her: for nine years he tries to change her mind, meanwhile stealing from her an odd assortment of personal items, which he collects and cherishes — a “museum of innocence” that he puts on display to tell the heartbreaking story of a love that shaped a life.

What to say about this book. Hmmm. This one is tough for some reason. It was a honker of a book with over 500 pages. It is a love story. A long one that spans many many years. I found the detailed imagery captivating, and the main characters exceptionally well developed. But, at parts, I actually put the book down mid-sentence multiple times and said out loud it's been (enter any number over three ie.) EIGHT frickin YEARS. It was a love hate relationship. You know, that kind of book. I guess that was what made it so great, the detail, the painful drawn out detail is what adds texture and bite to what can be deemed a common story line: lost love. The museum component itself is worth reading this for. Orhan's work brought back memories of my favourite Canadian movie, Margaret's Museum. The art historian in me loved both. So I did enjoy it, the love story, the painfulness that narrates the story. But at times I wished it wasn't so detailed.

I want to visit Turkey now? Does that count as an observation? I fell in love through description. Pamuk's descriptions of the apartments, their views, the smells and textures of the streets, the colours and climate, really awoke a travelbug in me. A friend of mine who travelled through Europe after university said his next trip back was to Turkey, he had visited for a few days on his first voyage and was spellbound. I remember the look in his eye, the smile sweeping over his entire face and his head shaking in an attempt to describe his few days there. Amazing might have been the only word he could conjure. I remembered that as I read this book. I want to travel to Turkey now. So I guess that does count. Overall a recommendation, I would say, is warranted.

So that's 2 down! Stand by for number 3.


again, I am always looking for recommendations & if you have read this book - tell me what you thought!

Monday, March 1, 2010

long may you run: music for a monday

Olympic fever was strong in these parts. Well, we are Canadian, after all. I found myself firmly planted in front of the tv over the last few weeks. Not really a common sight around here. I have watched events I knew nothing about, cheered for athletes at odd hours and even stood and sung the national anthem in my jammies, all alone with my country, in the early hours of a snowy morning. I have beamed with pride, cried over tragic footage, screamed at defensemen and goalies, tweeted woohoo! more times than I can count and have developed a slight crush on Sid the Kid. We watched hockey games with friends and family that we haven't connected with for *years*. It was great. I watched the final game with some of my favorite people in the world: my family. Three generations of the D family were all together to cheer and swear (go dad!) the afternoon away as the Canadian men (narrowly) won the GOLD! Hockey runs thick in my blood; I loved it all.

My fave memory from last evening's Olympic finale was Neil Young emerging from the stage and singing this song, as snow fell. Simple. I love Neil, and this song, so I was super excited. He is my own personal Leonard Cohen. Here is one version from 2008. The lyrics just seem so perfect. I loved it!

Long May You Run

We've been through
some things together
With trunks of memories
still to come
We found things to do
in stormy weather
Long may you run.

Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes
have come
With your chrome heart shining
in the sun
Long may you run.

Well, it was
back in Blind River in 1962
When I last saw you alive
But we missed that shift
on the long decline
Long may you run.

Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes
have come
With your chrome heart shining
in the sun
Long may you run.

Maybe The Beach Boys
have got you now
With those waves
singing "Caroline No"
Rollin' down
that empty ocean road
Gettin' to the surf on time.

Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes
have come
With your chrome heart shining
in the sun
Long may you run.


ps... long may YOU run!


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