Thursday, April 28, 2011

mr. freeze

yesterday i was riding the street car.  it was fairly busy and as i walked to the back i passed a stroller.  sitting behind the couple with the stroller was an older man eating a mr. freeze.  walking by i heard him say i know you want one but you'll have to wait until you're out of that stroller and you're old enough.  from where i was sitting i could observe them.  the little girl started out with a curious look on her face, she was saying bubby, bubby, bubby  and then reaching out for the mr. freeze.  the man shook his head at her.  she continued with that tactic until realizing that it clearly wasn't working.  her next approach involved her looking down, and then back up and smiling at the man a few times before reaching out for the freezy.  he chuckled, but still shook his head, no.  it was evident to everyone but the little girl that there was no way she was getting his freezy.  she was not yet aware that passing germs with a stranger is a big no no.  her final tactic, which was the funniest one to watch involved her tilting her head down and furrowing her brow.  she looked quite ticked off with him.  and occasionally she would flare her nostrils at him.  i got a real kick out of it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

be prepared

this photo is from a trip i took to raft cove, bc in 2007.  on the way in on one of the logging roads i spotted the sign, it was hard to miss.  i loved the idea of be prepared for the unexpected.  it embodies the excitement of going to new places and trying new things.  the trip itself involved a short 1.7 km hike in a wet forest.  we got lost along the way and ended up about a kilometer away from the beach we were aiming for, about 1 hour before sundown.  it was a great experience.  raft cove is situated on the north east coast of vancouver island:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


The most important thing in art is The Frame. For painting: literally; for other arts: figuratively-- because, without this humble appliance, you can't know where The Art stops and The Real World begins. You have to put a 'box' around it because otherwise, what is that shit on the wall?
frank zappa 

over the weekend i picked up some frames.  i had a few items i've been wanting to frame for a long time but hadn't gotten around to it...  there is a custom framing store near my house that looks awesome but also expensive... so that's where ikea came in handy.

some of these items may look familiar for various reasons.  they each hold a different sentiment, personal to me.

the two in the squares were given to me as cards.  the one of the left was given to me from my co-workers at atlas cafe when the doctors took out my appendix out.  they pooled together some money to help me out (as i had to take some time off work) and signed this lovely card.  it was a time that i felt a genuine sense of community, and honoured to have such amazing people in my life.

the second card was from my dear friend amy on the day my brother and i left for the trip back east.  she handed me the card and said: read this... sometime... later.  i knew it was going to be emotional and i think i had been home for about a week before i had the guts to open it.  it contains some of the most beautiful words of friendship i have ever read.

i don't know much about art.  but i know what i like.  i like art that evokes feelings and isn't just nice to look at.

since i quoted zappa i figured i should include a song of his that i like:

it's funny, i should have known it wasn't his song... i feel silly for not questioning it...  it was originally written by earl lewis and morgan robinson and was recorded by the channels in 1956.  

Monday, April 25, 2011

extra long weekend

 i came home tonight after a long weekend away from work, city and stress and found this in the mail:

 i had emailed the city and they sent me one in the mail.  here is a link to the electronic version.  i'm looking forward to exploring the city and finding some alternative routes.  i'm still not entirely at ease when drivers speed past me... sparing only an inch or two between the vehicle and myself.  the downtown streets are packed with parked cars and angry drivers and i'm not entirely comfortable with it.  i think over time it will get easier.

over the weekend mike and i went for a bike ride on the caledon railway path.  the ride was approximately 25 kilometers round trip.  we stopped in caledon east for a beer.  i felt great afterward.  i'm glad biking season is back.

the ride was pretty flat which was nice and not too challenging.  whenever we stopped for a break the most noticeable thing was the silence.  all you could hear was the wind blowing and birds chirping and cawing.  it was peaceful.  we passed different landscapes, streams, trees and farms.  and at one of the farms we stopped and made friends with these two horses.  we named them both fabio.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

ralph waldo emerson

thanks jay for sharing this quote with me.

ralph waldo emerson was a poet/philosopher/lecturer circa the 1800s.  he is best known for leading the transcendentalist movement.  i had never heard of him until reading this quote, and being strongly inspired by it.  i became curious to know more.  according to wikipedia, the core beliefs of transcendentalism can be summarized as such: the belief in an ideal spirituality that "transcends" the physical and empirical and is realized only through the individual's intuition, rather than through the doctrines of established religions.  it sort of sounds like agnosticism to me, but i think i'm going to have to do some more research before i fully understand the concept.  it might start with reading his essay entitled nature.

the other day i remember thinking why do i let work stress me out this much, there is so much more to life. it's a lot easier said than done considering you spend the better part of your weeks there...  so i've been reminding myself of that.  this quote sums everything up nicely and not exclusively the pains of work.  i hope it speaks to you as well.  it's easy to remember the bad parts of the day, and difficult to remember the nice and happy moments, the reason for this remains a mystery to me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

sleepy bear

Monday, April 18, 2011

bibio - lover's carvings

Sunday, April 17, 2011


i recently had the pleasure of seeing two exceptional movies: 

win win is currently in theatre.  it's about a family.  the father is a lawyer who is struggling to make ends meet.  i don't want to give much away, it's really worth seeing for yourself.  the movie takes you on an emotional roller coaster with a multitude of underdog characters that you are continuously rooting for.  starring two of actors who i have soft spots for jeffrey tambor and paul giamatti.  another treat was seeing holly from the office as a new jersey mother with a whole lot of spunk and a great sense of humour.  i sincerely loved this movie, and i would watch it again in a heartbeat.

i vaguely remember seeing a preview for get low at the theatre and thinking it would be a great movie and then forgetting all about it... until we saw the cover at the video store this weekend.  starring another actor i have a soft spot for, robert duvall.  he plays a hermit who has (basically) exiled himself from his community.  he lives on 300 acres of land with his mule.  the mule is really cute.  he has decided to have a funeral party for himself before he dies.  the movie takes you through the planning stages, and gives clues as to why he has become a hermit.  so if you want to find out why, watch it.

both of these movies were heartwarming and feel good, suspenseful and not too predictable.  they both had great casts and fantastic acting.  i feel like it's not something you come across too often in hollywood style movies that explode at the box office (whether or not they are any good).  it was a nice change.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

blast from the past

i was first introduced to raphael saadiq through mike.  at the time, i was falling in love with sharon jones and the dap kings and his style fit in perfectly.  listening to modern artists who can replicate the sweet sound of soul music and make it new, has become one of my favourite pass times as of late.

and for good reason, his music makes my fantasy of travelling back in time almost a reality.  for many years i have dreamt getting in a time machine and landing roughly when soul music was flourishing and new, sometime starting in the 50s and moving through to the 70s.  how exciting it would have been to see any number of the motown artists preform live.  and artists like raphael saadiq and sharon jones and the dap kings have the potential of bringing those dreams to life in a way.   here he is covering the spinners 70s hit it's a shame...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

first ride

i should have mentioned in yesterday's post - i listened to the leader's debate.  i don't have too much insight that you haven't already heard but here is an entertaining summary from the national post entitled leader's debate: he said, he said

before the debate, was my first bike ride of the season: 

to give some background: i had always wanted a road bike... i thought (and still think) they looked so cool and fast... mainly cool.  my first time riding one, i had borrowed my friend alice's forest green giant and her clip in shoes.  i couldn't believe the speed i achieved from being clipped in.. with my shoulders and arms tucked in i felt so aerodynamic... i felt like an athlete.  and to quote my father, who tells me you're not an athlete, but you are athletic... it was a new and exhilarating feeling to me... until at one point i came to a stop and couldn't unclip my shoe.  i promptly toppled over with the bike, laughing hysterically...  at the time i had a mountain bike, and two cruiser bikes that i wasn't willing to part with.  that left me with no room and no money for a road bike.  and then i came into some luck.  i was given a beautiful, shiny, blue norco road bike (circa 1980s) with freshly taped red handle bars.  it was so light i could pick it up effortlessly with one hand.  this bike was the epitome of cool.  i could boot around town in lightening speeds... the only problem was it was a size or two big for me and created discomfort when i stepped forward off the seat.  sadly i left that bike on vancouver island but i know it's in good hands.

yesterday's bicycle of choice was a vintage (matte-grey and gold) fuji road bike.  it is also a bit big for me but i manage.  my dad found it on the curb one garbage day and fixed it up.  it rides pretty smoothly.  it breaks very poorly.  but after about 15 minutes on the bike i felt strain in my arms and shoulders from the awkward forward position of a road bike.  and the location of the breaks does not inspire confidence.  nonetheless, i had a good ride and was happy to be out enjoying some fresh air... and to my surprise, i'm not at all sore today. 

my memory is currently flooded with bikes i have loved. bikes i have ridden. bikes i still have and ones that got away. each of them with their own story and special place in my heart. but i'll save those for another day.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

election 2011

this morning as mike and i were walking to the bus stop, a bus pulled up...
should we run?  nah...
yeah! let's run...

it seems more often than not the bus is arriving at the stop just as i exit my apartment.  it's sort of similar to a yellow light.  slow down and stop or speed up and make it....  it depends on the day but usually i opt for the sprint because i know it's usually another ten minutes or so before the next bus arrives.  it was an older bus, packed full of people.  we arrived at high park station and were pleasantly greeted with some campaign flyers for the incumbent mp in my riding..  i gladly accepted a flyer and out of the corner of my eye i noticed gerard kennedy was there handing out flyers himself, answering questions and shaking hands. 

awareness.  a theme that has been consistent in my life over the past few weeks.  i liked seeing him out there, making people aware... and thought it was a smart place to be for that riding.  it created a sense of respect for him.  and i'm happy when i see the candidates out campaigning and not just their loyal volunteers.  it showed me that he personable, hardworking and strategic at the very least.

i feel fortunate, happy and inspired to have run into him on my morning commute.  i wonder what the other candidates are up to....  i heard the three (out of four) of them on metro morning yesterday.  i guess it would only be of interest to those in the parkdale-highpark riding... but if you're curious here is a link:

considering the turn out of the 2008 federal election was 58.8%, the biggest battle seems to be getting people out to the polls.  it frustrates me.  people have the lamest excuses for something that is ever so important.  if you're not informed, ask someone.  use the internet.  read a newspaper.  listen to the radio.  you don't need to be a rocket scientist to choose a candidate.  if you claim not to "like" any of them, go and throw your ballot, but at least do something.  you know why it's important, i don't have to tell you.  i don't have to tell you about the people who have fought for their right to vote, and guilt you into realizing how not voting is abusing yours. 

with all that being said (or ranted), i know that there are a lot of people who are planning on voting in this election.  here is a helpful link that will answer pretty much any of your questions...

Monday, April 11, 2011

ham on rye

i recently finished reading ham on rye by charles bukowski... after hearing a quote from him i was instantly interested in reading some of his works.  i had heard that ham on rye was his most autobiographical work so i thought that would be a good place to start.  i had no idea what i was in for.  bukowski is undoubtedly a phenomenal writer...  i thoroughly enjoyed each page of this novel... but i was no less than shocked by the vulgarity of his writing.

the novel is written from the point of view of charles' alter-ego henry chinaski... it takes you through his life, from the time he immigrated to los angeles, california from germany at the age of 3 through to just before his writing career started.  it is set in 1930's, and life is noticeably different than what we know today.  this book covers everything, from whippings from his father to his first interest in women.  he struggles with a severe case of acne vulgaris in his teens, a case worse than any doctor has seen.  his image of self and confidence is greatly affected by the painful boils that cover his body, and it seems to form his tough guy image...  the book becomes increasingly raunchy.  swearing, fighting, gambling and alcohol seem to be a consistent theme in henry's life. 

while i have read novels from a male's pov - i was enlightened by the brutal honesty of his story.  i believe growing up is painful, no matter what gender or decade it happens in...  and he illustrates this point as it is somehow relatable.   i was so engaged, that i didn't even take the time to research the man himself.  now that i have seen a photo of bukowski and read a bit of his story on wikipedia, i believe ham on rye must be incredibly close to accurate. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

what cookies think of me

somehow it became a tradition [at work] for my boss to get me a fortune cookie every time she gets one.  i almost always bring my lunch to work and she buys hers.  when she eats at the "thai bowl" she always grabs a couple of extra cookies.  i have collected many of the fortunes and put this together as a keepsake.  the last three are my favourites and i have them up at my desk.  not many of them are actual fortunes but it's still fun.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

funny bunny 2

tee hee

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

thoughts, april 5

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend. 
-Albert Camus
i get a lot of my day to day inspiration from quotes.  sometimes i am lucky enough to stumble upon them and other times i search them out.  this particular quote spoke to me, as there is [quite possibly] nothing better in life than a true friend.  they aren't easy to come by, and it's a kind of friendship that doesn't happen overnight.

i am interested in reading any of camus' work but haven't gotten around to it yet.  i have also quoted him in an older post.  i have been more into reading fiction as of late.  i remember that i loved to read as a kid.  i think it was because i wanted to be like my mom who devours (what seems like) a book a day.  and also for that sense of accomplishment you feel after reading the last word and closing the book.  as a child i read exclusively fiction novels... and i remember when i was introduced to non-fiction in my teens i felt that it would be more beneficial to exclusively read non-fiction.  it turns out, that wasn`t necessarily the case.  while i am still interested in non-fiction, it neglects to keep me engaged the same way a good story does.  and there is a lot to be learned from fiction, if at the very least it`s new vocabulary.  i have noticed my aptitude at crosswords has greatly improved the more i read.  why not try to you lose yourself in a book...  and if you find yourself feeling that you don`t have the time... i highly suggest reading this raptitude article... Where Does the Time Go

Monday, April 4, 2011

in the news

you may or may not have heard about the slut walk that went on in toronto this weekend.  the walk was in response to constable michael sanguinetti's comment in January that women should "not dress like sluts" in order to avoid sexual assault.  the message of the walk was that a way a woman dresses does not determine whether or not she will be sexually assaulted.

initially, when i heard about this comment, i was outraged.  then after hearing about it 10 thousand times, i was like enough already.  it was a poor choice of words, and if he meant it he's an idiot.  end of story.  if the guy hadn't used the word slut it would have been the last we ever heard about his comment.  in a way, bringing this sensitive issue to the forefront isn't such a bad thing.  i work in a male dominated environment:  about 35 - 8 and the number of females just grew substantially.  anyway, one of the principles brought it up with me in the lunch room.  he said, and i agreed, that the whole thing was being blown out of proportion.  and then he went on to say that sanguinetti had a point.  i can somewhat understand that dressing provocatively can send the wrong message, but under no circumstance should a woman be blamed for a man not being able to control himself.  that is sickening.  we stated our pov's and agreed to disagree.  a few months go by, and the paper on the lunchroom table has a picture of a woman in a dress - the article talks about the upcoming slut walk.  the debate in the lunchroom today is: what makes an outfit "slutty?"   everyone had a different idea of what it might be.  you can read more about the slut walk that took place in toronto this sunday here.  or by doing a google search if it interests you.  i'm not a huge fan of the name but i'm happy that women are standing up for themselves.  i don't think it's an issue that should be taken lightly.


in other news: i read an article on blogTO recently... Should the TTC ban eating on its vehicles?  which is a question i ask myself on a daily basis.  the subways, streetcars and buses are all littered with wrappers and food debris.  not only is it gross to be around, but i always think about who has to clean this up? i wonder how our lives have become so busy that we have to eat while in transit?  just the other day i was encountered by a woman driving towards me with her head down.  texting i thought, as she approached it turned out that she was staring at the salad in her lap that she was in the midst of eating. 

the blogTO article was in response to a video of an altercation between 2 women on a new york subway.  i have posted the video but you may have to log in to youtube to view it.  it was actually disturbing to watch. 

i'm not convinced that banning something is the solution to any problem.  in history, people always find a way around the whatever is banned.  and when i think about it, i have no idea how the ttc might enforce it.  especially considering the number of stations that have fast food right inside the station.  but in terms of a solution, i can't really think of anything....  the real problems are difficult to address.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

not interesting

came across these abandoned houses on dundas street.  i wonder what the story is behind them?  they are fenced off but it looks like people may be squatting there.

i made spinach last night.  sauteed with garlic and a little bit of olive oil.  i think it's one of my favourite foods.  considering how much i hated spinach growing up... maybe i'm making up for all the spinach i refused to eat?  i'm going to be just like popeye.

and this morning i took the leftover spinach and made an omelette (with tomato and mozzarella).  with my favourite rye toast and my favourite coffee in my favourite mug.  and tulips, which aren't my favourite but are still very pretty.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

the gypsy rebels

last night mike and i went to a little place in the junction called aquila.  i've been meaning to check out and we were pleasantly surprised.  they have live music from wednesday through sunday... and never any cover charge.  the food and drinks were reasonably priced and it had an eclectic, jazzy kind of feel.

the musicians of the night were the gypsy rebels and consisted of a bass, accordian, piccolo or trumpet, and a spanish guitar player who is also the vocalist.  they were exceptional musicians, but most exceptional was the bass player.  i think we could have observed his talents for hours on end.  it was also the first time we'd seen anyone play a piccolo.  i knew the opening song from the movie gypsy caravana documentary about gypsy music.  it features one macedonian gypsy singer: esma redzepova to whom i feel a connection to.  after first seeing that film i tried to convince my family that i was part gypsy.  my dad still calls me gypsy.  it's all in good fun, i'm not really a gypsy.... here is a video of esma, please be prepared for her intense singing style:

below is a clip of the gypsy rebels playing it at an outdoor show in toronto.  last night they were full of life, energy and ... a bit of  audacity.  most of the audience appeared to be regulars, or friends and family of the band.  during one song he walked into the floor of the restaurant and played a song while staring intensely at one of the patrons.  we couldn't stop laughing.  after a few traditional gypsy songs they went into covers.  near the end of the first set people were up and dancing.  it was quite entertaining to say the least.