Saturday, January 31, 2015

Feel Me, Eat Me, Watch Me, Read Me

Image from Offbeat Home
It is no secret I love my pressure canner;  I've even considered getting a tattoo of it (seriously).  But I haven't cooked with it yet (mine does both).  This recipe for Texas Chile Con Carne is definitely tempting me to give it a try.

I also happen to love jalapeno poppers (don't judge), and this recipe (also from Serious Eats) seems to problem-solve a number of issues home cooks have making them.

Two of my favourite things together:  bicycles and knit items.  This dress is really sweet and looks absolutely cozy.

And speaking of pairing knitting with something - how about poetry?  Ten Poems About Knitting is a mix of classic and contemporary poems that deal with knitting; one poem seems to be calling my name (although I swear there's a typo in the title):  The Manly Art of Knitting.

I might be talking to a colleague's class about women and hunting.  Maybe I should make this sweater to go along with it.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: A Few of My Favourite Things

Dress:  J. Morgan Puett
Turtleneck:  Akris
Skirt:  Junya Watanabe
Tights:  Hue
Boots:  La Canadienne

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Getting There

From Copenhagenizecom
There's been a lot of discussion in Hamilton about the demise of the bus-only lane on a main thoroughfare through town and the inability of the city council to get the light rail transit system going.  So Environment Hamilton, the same folks who put together the Lake to Lake ride I did last June, have started a campaign called Throw Council on the Bus, which lets Hamilton residents pledge money for a councillor (or multiple ones) to commute by bus for a week.  You wouldn't believe some of the blow-back and some of the excuses.   It's clear that many of the councillors are out of touch with reality and have no understanding of the integral part public transportation plays in many people's lives.

In  the meantime, the Hamilton Bike Share program, SoBi, has deployed a number of bikes throughout the city ahead of the March launch.  Initially I thought I had no need for a bike share membership; after all, I do own four bikes.  However, last week, I was meeting the ladyfriend for a gift consult after my regular "beer and a half" date with a friend.  It was then that I realized that if I had a SoBi account, I could ride to my various appointments and catch a ride home with the ladyfriend (I know - the accursed car!) rather than meet her at home ten minutes later (okay, I know, poor Claudia - waaah, another ten-minute bike ride.  I know, I know).  All this to say, while city council is dragging its heels and investing in the continuance of car culture, there are little victories all over the city.  Every time I ride my bike, I feel like I'm contributing to the greater bike culture of Hamilton.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Updo

Sweater:  No label (Mom thinks Comme des Garcons)
Skirt:  Comme des Garcons
Tights (not seen): Wolford
Socks (not seen):  Target
Boots (not seen):  Blundstones

Monday, January 26, 2015

On My Mind Mondays: I Want a Snow Day

 Looks like it's time to put the studded tires on.  I have to say - I'm kind of excited.

Sending warm thoughts to my friends and family in the blizzard zone!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Chin In Hand Takes the Pressure Off

Dress:  Aida Barni
Vest:  Dolce & Gabbana
Tights:  wool but label unknown
Boots:  La Canadienne

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

It's Still January; Still Time to Set Goals

I'm sure I said I don't make resolutions, and the following list is not so much a list of resolutions, but a list of goals and milestones that could help move my writing forward.  I've adapted my list from Brooke Warner's, of SheWrites, list of 52 Things - Ideas for Writers 2015.  Amazingly, I actually edited it down (rather than my usual urge to add/complicate).  I intend to amend/edit it as I accomplish one thing or another, and I will be happy if I do half of these things over the course of the year.

Here's my version of Brooke's list:
  1. Start or join a writing group.
  2. Guest post for a blog you read/admire.
  3. Commit to a certain number of submissions a month, and stick to it for the whole year.
  4. Read a banned book during Banned Book Week, September 27 - October 3, 2015. For a list of banned books, visit:
  5. Submit a story to a call for submissions for an anthology.
  6. Buy a book for a child or teenager in your life for no reason at all.
  7. Commit to writing a certain number of words per week, or per month.
  8. Attend a local author reading, or two or five or ten.
  9. Support your local bookstore.
  10. Write a book review and put it on your blog or your website.
  11. Do one thing that truly champions another writer.
  12. Read a book that falls way outside your general area of interest.
  13. Go to a writers’ conference.
  14. Apply for residency retreats, like Hedgebrook.
  15. Do a 500 Words challenge. Writers like Jeff Goins have sponsored these kinds of challenges, where you write 500 words a day for a set number of days—a month or longer. Give it a whirl!
  16. Read your work out loud, either at an open mic night or at a literary event.
  17. Write and publish either an e-book or a chapbook. These can be as short as 25 or 30 pages (single stories or essays) and they can get your work on the map.
  18. Enter your work into a contest. You have nothing to lose!
  19. Map out a timeline for your book, or for your next book. Consider when would be a reasonable publication date for your book and write it down. Post it somewhere where you can see it to hold that date as a goal.
  20. Commit to a certain number of blog posts a month—one, two, four—and stick to it for the whole year.
  21. If you don’t already have a website, start one. If you have a website you know needs a facelift, commit to giving it one.
  22. Memorize a poem.
  23. Get involved with my local library.
  24. Make a list of your top ten favorite books in your own genre and reread two of them.
  25. Do something that shows your commitment to writing—plant something or buy yourself a house (or office) plant; get a piece of “writing” jewelry; or create or purchase something that’s meaningful to you that you see every day as a reminder to yourself about the meaning writing holds in your life.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Winter Gothic

Shirt:  Karen Klein
Skirt:  Shack/J. Morgan Puett
Tights: Hue
Boots:  La Canadienne

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sock Delivery Method

There's almost nothing cuter than to see Gwendolyn carrying socks.  If I leave the sock drawer open, as I did today, she just brings me pair after pair.  She will also dig socks out of the laundry basket.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Feel Me, Eat Me, Watch Me, Read Me,

If you've read this blog or know me, you know I'm into beer.  It's frequently my drink of choice (along with bourbon & martinis), and I'm about to start brewing it.  So I was interested in this list of 20 Must-Try Styles of Beer.  I like a good to-do list.  And since Canada is known for its rye whiskey, I was happy to see this list of cocktails, most of which sound delicious (not sure I need kale juice in my alcoholic beverage; I'm not drinking for my health).  I'm thinking that the Filibuster might be the one I try first.

There've been a couple of news stories that caught my eye.  What I thought initially was good news (the FDA easing its lifetime ban on gay men donating blood) is only so-so news.  What makes is so-so is that if a man has had sex with another man within the last year, they're not allowed to give blood.  So, I guess this is good for celibate gay men and bisexual men currently involved with women. I wish I were more enthusiastic about the change.

In the bad news category, last year was the hottest year on record.  Unfortunately, I don't think that many of the climate change deniers will bother to read (and absorb) that memo.

What's a list of suggested sites without a few cycling-related ones?  Check out this interesting cargo bike, and this definition of mixed company is pretty funny.

I made a couple of batches of bone broth (what I also just call stock) from pork bones gifted to me from last weekend's sausage making fest and found this recipe, which made good use of some of the stock.   I didn't end up putting pork stew meat into it (didn't have any at my coop), but I did pull off some of the meat from some roasted bones, added more cabbage, and then dumped some pastina (teeny tiny pasta) into it.  Definitely was not missing more meat.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: If the Pose Fits...

didn't think this image would work, but I find it hysterical and thought, "Why not?"
Dress:  Woolen Moss (etsy)
Shrug:  Vogue Knitting pattern (?), Malabrigo yarn (made by yours truly)
Tights:  Hue
Boots:  212

Whenever I Think It's Too Cold Out...

I just go here and get back in the saddle.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Cover Up! It's Cold (Outside as well as in the Fridge)

Dress:  Morgan le Fay
Jacket:  Comme des Garcons (mom-me-down)
Turtleneck:  Cadeau (thrifted)
Tights:  no label
Boots:  Blundstones

Friday, January 9, 2015

Feel Me, Eat Me, Watch Me, Read Me

Card from Flakes Paperie
Oooh, baby, it's cold outside.  I rode to the train station yesterday in -24C wind chill.  I know, kind of crazy, but after reading through this thread, I felt like there's no such thing as too cold.  However, I did have the ladyfriend pick me and my bike up at 9:30pm.  Too many variables that I wasn't prepared for (flurries, ice, haven't put the studded tires on, etc.).  There may be a "too cold" setting for me.

But everything seems to be about winter cycling right now as the temperatures have dropped.  Velojoy has a solid guide for the season, and I found this link while wondering whether I needed to have a temperature cut-off for cycling.

Momentum Magazine highlighted the five cities that they think are on their way to being The Next Great Biking Cities.  I was happy to see that Washington, DC was among them since that's where my dad bikes a lot.

Rather than think about various resolutions one can make (although I do appreciate an Uberlist a la the Thrifty Knitter), here are just a few thoughts to keep in mind over the coming year.  But you might also want some actual benchmarks for the coming year, and if you're a writer, this list might interest you.

What about food?  How about pizza sauce or lemon chicken?  Both seem like worthy endeavours although I will be at the annual sausage party, as I like to call it, this weekend.  That's right, time to break down some organic pigs and make sausage in a cold garage all weekend.  But boy, are we fed well!

And finally, I leave you with this video.  I don't know about skiing naked, but everyone looks like they're having a good time.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Kinda Bohemian, Kinda Beatnik

Dress: Ralph Lauren
Turtleneck:  Akris
Tights:  Hue
Boots:  La Canadienne
Suede Beret: Label missing (mom-me-down)

The Boy Tattoos in LA This Weekend

If you're in the Los Angeles area this weekend, the boy (also known as my son) will be a guest tattooer at Crimson Unicorn this Friday through Monday.   Wasn't a new tattoo on your resolutions list?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Warm Impressions

Dress:  Yohji Yamamoto (mom-me-down)
Turtleneck:  Cadeau (thrifted)
Tights:  Falke
Shoes:  La Canadienne
Hat: Christine Bec

Monday, January 5, 2015

On My Mind Mondays: Forward, Never Straight


It is the first day of the winter term at my university although I don't go in until tomorrow, so naturally my mind is geared toward start-of-school/start-of-the-new-year issues.  However, these may be different than most conventional issues.
  1.  Resolutions:  I stopped making resolutions awhile ago although I always have ideas about how I want the new year to go or what I wish to accomplish.  I generally say that each year I want to be more of the person that I am.  Today I read this post, and it hit a chord with me.
  2. Nighttime visibility:  Yes, I'm searching for reflective tape.  My initial thought was to get black reflective tape (that glows silver in light) and accessorize a number of my jackets; however, I'm beginning to think that making my bike more visible will be far more efficient.  In keeping with my Made in USA/Canada desires, 3M makes a reflective tape in the US, which MEC (sort of a Canadian REI) sells by the meter.  If I'm putting it on my bike, the fact that it's silver isn't a deal breaker (will most likely line my rims and spokes).  I've spent a good amount of time online trying to find a good deal, but sometimes convenience and supporting a local-ish store trumps cost.  Besides, I don't think I need a 50-foot roll of black reflective tape.
  3. Winter cycling:  It was -9C (15.8F) this morning and got colder as the day went on.  I used my physio appointment as a chance to continue to problem-solve stylish winter cycling.  I ended up layering a Nike dri-fit long-sleeved shirt under my new Vulpine merino jersey, which looked nice with a felted wool skirt and black tights.  I wore cycling "legs" over my tights and a neck gater, a head/ear band (do these things have a proper name?), and my Patagonia Lidia parka (no longer produced).  On my feet, I put a pair of SmartWool socks (low profile) over my tights and put my feet into my Blundstones.  I wore ancient polypro glove liners under a pair of fleece gloves.  I was pretty warm although my face froze.  Note to self (and to everyone else) - don't wear metal framed sunglasses in the winter.  Ouch!
  4. My first day of class:  What will I do?  What will I wear?
  5. (Totally unrelated but on my mind) - DSLR photos on blogs:  Has anyone else noticed that people who have DSLRs seem to post way too many photos?  It seems to me that every single image is precious to them.  I'm in favour of editing.  I don't need to see every moment, captured in a single frame, of...pretty much anything.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year! Dare!

Every year, the ladyfriend gets me a Nikki McClure calendar for St. Nikolaus Day.  When I put up the 2015 one this morning, I thought that January's papercut and message was perfect.
Happy 2015!