Thursday, August 28, 2008

Summer is almost over

Velib Bikes in Paris

B and T's Wedding in the Alps

The boats in Marsaille

Jer and D's Wedding at the Palais Royal

The New Apartment

Last updated- April. Where did my spring and summer go?

It is said that Canadians love to complain about the weather. We can't help it.

In our defense, however, this summer has been the rainiest season in Toronto on record. Our downtown neighbourhood looks like subtropical jungle.

Some highlights from the past few months and what we have been up to.

In May we attended Jeremy and Diane's amazing Great Gatsby themed wedding. The weekend was the talk of the town, and there is evidence of a certain family member doing the worm on the dance floor.

In June we headed to France for Becky and Thibaut's wedding. We flew into Paris, and partook in the Couchsurfing Project for a the first week, travelling slowly down from Paris to Marsaille.

We were thrilled to see the Velib bicycle renting system in many of the cities we visited, and rented bikes for a Euro a day in Paris. I'm excited about a rumour that it's coming to Toronto.

The second week we spent in a rented mountain home with 10 friends right smack in the Alps. Both weeks were wonderful and deserve more attention that I can give them at the moment.

July was busy with an unplanned move. Thanks to Ania and Curtis and Erin and Brett for hauling things over our fire escape and moving boxes until they could no longer feel their legs. After just under one year in our old pad, we retired to a quieter street with more space and swapped our downtown patio for a backyard. Ania and Curtis are now our neighbours, as was Jonathan who lived upstairs from us until yesterday. We are officially renaming our street in the Annex - Little Edmonton.

After waiting for 3 hours I finally got a chance to meet David Sedaris at the Chapters downtown. He signed my book, and rather then letting him chat with me I told him a stupid anecdote about fire escape plans in Korea. I was so nervous, I made a fool of myself and could not get over the incident for a week. His new book is great and you should check it out. Typically I would share my copy but it's signed- to Paul and Sandra, and I can't part with it. It's #25 on the what white people like list.

After teaching ESL, all summer, I have returned this week to be a student again. I'm thrilled about my up coming year at York.

This weekend we are up to the cottage to try to find the last bit of summer. I hope it doesn't rain. The weekend after next we fly to Edmonton, for the much anticipated wedding of Thea Varvis and Richard Dimitriou. I hope to see many of you there.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Back to the Praries

To deal with the weather we go to the waterpark.
We rock out. Because it's too cold to walk out--side.
A keg + some snow + heels = FUN.

When I arrived in Edmonton two weeks ago, I gloated to Paul on the phone that the weather was wonderful and spring like, while Toronto sat in a dreary cloud of rain. Karma bit me in the ass. By the time I was about to board the red-eye back last Tuesday, Edmonton was in a thick tizzy of snow, making the drive to the airport next to impossible. How did we even take off?

The weather in Edmonton, for those who have not had the pleasure to experience it first hand, is the "big brother of the city." It is an ominous part of everyone's life, and all the citizens must abide by its rules and laws. It is the only place I know where one may be wearing sandals in the morning, and a parka in the afternoon.

It is my observation, that Edmontonians, unlike Torontonians, are much more adaptable people. During some of the winter storms here in Ontario, Toronto seemed all but paralyzed - later boasting proudly it DID NOT have to call in the military "this" time. In Edmonton, the April storm--the severity of which appeared to the untrained eye as relatively more intense than any of Toronto's storms, didn't really affect much.

People said things such as, "Oh shit, look at the snow" or, "Look it's snowing" and then they put back on their winter jackets (which most times they were smart enough to not have put away), brought out their shovels, and went to work on their driveways. They went to work as they always do. They went to the mall. They went for brunch on Sunday morning.

I have to say, I'm proud of Edmonton. It's building some tough citizens. Much like cockraoches and pegioens, I'm of the opinion they can survive anything.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Nick and Sheila

chromogenic print, 2006
48 by 48 inches,
Edition of 5,
2 ap20 by 20 inches, Edition of 5. 2 ap

I attended my first Timeraiser this past Saturday at the Distillery District. It was quite honest one of the coolest events I have been to in a long time.Hosted in the fermenting cellar, it was full of beautiful people and beautiful food. The premise was to bid on art work from emerging and mid career artist. The bids,however, were not monetary but rather in number of volunteer hours pledged to contribute to various organizations in the coming year.

Recently, I have been very interested in the works of Nick and Sheila Pye, a Toronto based couple married,who graduated from OCAD. Their work deals with the toils of marriage and commitment and the boundaries we push with each other, and ourselves when in relationships. The work is mostly photographic and installation based and has been receiving a great deal of buzz as of late.

Amazingly, a piece tiled " A Life of Errors" was featured at the time raiser, and after a long biding war, I won. In 150 volunteer hours, over the next year, the piece will be proudly displayed in my home. What a way to start my art collection.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Spring is Here

Finally after a long hard winter, I find myself on my back deck with the sun on my face. I swear I picked up a few freckles on my nose this morning as I sat outside sipping my coffee, watching the rabid squirrels chase each other on the leafless trees. The pigeons were doing their mating dance, the racoons were making "noises" in alley, my crazy neighbour who bangs on my walls was out on her patio, and my friend Sarah sat with a belly full of baby. (She's pregnant) . It's official-- Spring is here. To celebrate I am posting photos of just a few weeks. Back at the cottage winter was still in full swing. I need to remind myself, that I should not yet put away the winter jacket and pull out the flip flops, just yet.

My contract with Elections Ontario has officially ended and I am currently unemployed. Next week I am heading back to Edmonton, to see family and friends and regroup. I have a feeling the next few months are going to be extremely busy.

Right now it's time to step back outside to enjoy the sun. Fans of mine who feel like they are not getting enough of my witty banter can rest assured. I am trying to remedy the problem, and become a more consistent blogger. (It's on my long list of things to do. # 31. Become a more consistent blogger- you can not disappoint your fans). If that still isn't enough of a promise, check out Paul's blog
I'm certain some of my fabulousness has rubbed off on him over the years.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Okay, I'm spoiled rotten I know. After a great life altering vacation to New York, but a month ago, I decide on a whim to go on a sell off vacation to Cuba. Just for the fun of imagining a warm place in the dead of winter, my work mate Danielle and I went onto a discount vacations website to see what they had available. What we found was an deal we could not pass up on. Our contract ending the next day, and the new one not to start till the following week. On a whim we booked the ticket and were scheduled to leave two days later.

I can to say going to Cuba on an all inclusive vacation is not in any way an indication of what Cuba was. I learned very little about locals ( except that those working at the resort were extremely kind and lovely), and got version of a country designed especially for me the tourist. I did however, get a chance to meet some great Canadians who shared with me their stories, and sat on a beach that was mostly beautiful--aside from the jelly fish that washed up on the shore most afternoons and made it difficult to enter the water. ( And although dangerous in their own right, they did have a beauty to them that was unparalleled)

I drank a lot of mojitos and Spanish coffees, sat in the sun at the beach and the pool, watched the live entertainment, ate buffet, and chatted, and drank and drank. The trip in fact degenerated my brain power so much that by the end of it I could barely read a People magazine because it had too many words. ( So much for the 6 books I insisted on bringing).

I did manage to get off the idyllic grounds for but an afternoon to see some of Havana, listen to live music and get soaked in the craziest torrential rain I have every seen. ( The streets turned into rivers, and all we could do was walk and smile as we soaked to the bone). Havana is such a cool and dynamic city and I wish I had had a chance to see more of it, although a bit intimidating for two women.

The highlight of the trip was by far the snorkeling. Mostly because it was something I was very nervous to do and had a hard time getting into. Being a person who suffers from bouts of claustrophobia and anxiety makes it hard to breathe through a little tube and stick my face in the unknown of the water. Once I figured out how to relax, I was overwhelmed with what I saw. A world in which I did not belong, but was allowed into as a silent observer began to surface. Creatures came out of the nooks and crevices and I could have stayed out there forever. At one point I began to swim out into the blue, before I new it I was in the middle of nowhere, only the light of the deep ocean pouring in through the surface and the soft sound of my breathing. The panic of realising I was so far from land was eclipsed my the inner calm I felt.

Now I'm back, and my new contract finds me sitting under the dim lights of the warehouse at Elections Ontario pushing papers. Although I may not necessarily want to be back in Cuba I keep thinking of being elsewhere as I listen to my ipod and feel my eyes and body get tired. Although the job pays the bills, and it redeems itself based on the fact that I'm not in it alone ( there's a whole troop of us doing the same mind numbing work), I keep thinking I wish I was doing something more creative that used the skills I have.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Great December

Everyone has a magic place. A place they hope to visit one day. A place they have built up to mythical proportions in their minds. A place that has become so over exploited in ones imaginations that it could not ever possibly live up to such a high expectation. For some it's a trek in the Amazon jungle, for overs a beach vacation in Thailand, and for other's still a historic view of Rome's ancient civilizations. For me this very place is New York.

New York is the mecca of art. The center of fashion and culture. It is where Kerri broke up with Big. It is where John Lennon was shot. It's where Ms. Piggy took a carriage ride with Kermit in Central Park.

I heart New York. The cold winter weekend we visited the city, was packed with so much excitment at every corner. Paul and I became unashamed tourist, but also got a chance to hang out with Warren, Kal, and Barbara (some of the greatest hosts eve), and even experienced a true New York house party. We shopped, walked, ate and got inspired. The details are crisp--the smells, the cold, and the energy New Yorkers seem to have. Truly an amazing vacation.

The trip to the MoMA was a 4 hour vacation with in a vacation. It's so cheesy to say, but I feel like I met so many of my personal heroes by walking through this incredible gallery of galleries. I could have spent the night sleeping in front of a Kiki Smith drawing.

We sometimes go through life in such a state of disconnect. New York made me feel a reconnect to world around me, and a level of being alive I have not felt in a while. Thank you New York for teasing me with your energy.

Monday, December 10, 2007

It's Christmas Time -All over ... Again!!

What a great song that is. I am almost in the Christmas spirit. The tree has been dressed, the lights have been strung, the poinsetta is on the table, and I even created a Martha Stewart inspired card holder involving ribbon and thumb tacks. I can hardly believe it's been a year since our cross European winter vacation. I keep thinking Toronto should adopt the Christmas Market tradition of Europe and sell mulled wine on every street corner. Although, I think we're a bit too anal as Canadians to allow drinking in public even if it's in reindeer mugs. I the spirit of National Lampoons, and Home Alone, I figured it would be nice to revisit last year's trip with a few photos.
It's obvious I'm feeling sentimental for Bosnia, and missing my friends there. Here's to a beer can tree, and meals of cheese fondue, tarte eflete, and wine wine wine... did I mention cheese fondue?